A man was arrested in Mumbai in the Indian state of Maharashtra on Saturday for allegedly raping a 17-year-old girl at gunpoint for the last four years. The accused, 41, is a local Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader according to the Manpada police in Dombivli.
After the minor girl approached them, the police lodged an FIR against the accused. He was identified as Sandeep Gopinath Mali BJP’s Kalyan unit vice-president.
Indian newspaper Times of India quoted BS Tambe, inspector from Manpada police station, who said: “After getting a complaint, we arrested the accused and on Sunday, we will produce him before a court for his custody.”
According to the newspaper Indian Express, the accused had been pursuing the girl, who is now 17-year-old, for the past four years. However, she had rejected his advances and told him to stay away from her. A police officer told the daily that the rejection enraged the accused, who raped the girl at gunpoint in 2015. He allegedly continued to sexually assault the girl ever since.
After suffering for four years, the girl finally registered a complaint with the police last week.
Acting on the complaint, the police arrested the accused, who is married and has children. The accused was booked under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (PCSO) Act.
The accused was produced in court on Sunday and has been remanded to police custody till August 21.
India dangerous for women
Many social media users in India have shared these news stories and other such cases asking the Indian government about measures are being taken to make the country safe for women.
A 2018 international survey published by the Thomson Reuters Foundation said that India is the most dangerous country in the world to be a woman. The opinion survey with 550 experts on women’s issues found the country to be the most dangerous nation for sexual violence against women, as well as human trafficking for domestic work, forced labour, forced marriage and sexual slavery, among other reasons.