Assam Minister Accused of Rape, Cong Demands “Immediate Sacking”
Assam police have registered a case against minister of state for railways Rajen Gohain for allegedly raping and threatening a 24-year old married woman in Nagaon district, a senior police officer said on Friday, 10 August.
In return, Gohain filed complaints of blackmailing against the woman and her family, his officer on special duty Sanjiv Goswami said when contacted, claiming that the case against the minister has been withdrawn.
When asked about the withdrawal, Nagaon police station officer-in-charge Ananta Das said the woman had pleaded to withdraw the case in court but the “case still stands… we will do our own investigation”.
Nagaon deputy superintendent of police (headquarter) Sabita Das said the case was registered against Gohain on 2 August, after a complaint was received at the Nagaon police station.
“We have registered the case. The investigation has already begun and we will proceed as per law,” she said.
Das, however, refused to share any details about the case.
“The FIR was registered under IPC sections 417 (cheating), 376 (rape) and 506 (criminal intimidation). We are investigating and have already noted the lady's statement,” a senior officer said, adding that the woman had refused medical examination.
Gohain had allegedly committed the crime at the woman's home when her husband and other family members were not present, he said.
Asked if the minister’s arrest was imminent, the police official said, “We are probing now. If required, arrest will happen only after the probe is complete.”
Gohain did not answer the phone when contacted for a comment, while Goswami said the minister “will not speak to the media”. When asked about the alleged rape case, Goswami said it had been withdrawn. “There is no case as of today and as of now,” he said.
Congress Orders Immediate Sacking of Gohain
Reacting to the allegations, the Congress on Friday, 10 August, demanded the “immediate sacking” of Gohain.
Congress leader Pawan Khera addressed Prime Minister Narendra Modi and asked him to immediately sack Gohain from the union council of ministers.
Khera also reminded the prime minister of the promise he had made before 2014 parliamentary elections about his commitment towards ensuring women safety in the country.
"Remove him from office. You cannot allow him to be in a position of power and influence the investigation. Please remove him if you meant anything that you promised before 2014," he told reporters.
Accusing Modi of “remaining silent” on the Kathua, Unnao and more recent Muzaffarpur and Deoria rapes, he said Modi was “failing” the women of the country and questioned his silence on the rape charge against the union minister.
"Again there is a rape FIR against the Cabinet colleague of yours - MoS for Railways Rajen Gohain. If you do not act now, you will loose the moral authority to stay in office even for a day. Please take action," he said.