Jammu: An ex-serviceman here on Sunday accused a BJP legislator of abducting his daughter in Jammu and Kashmir, a charge denied by the politician who termed it as an attempt to defame him.

However, Senior Superintendent of Police (Jammu) Vivek Gupta said no formal complaint was lodged so far in this case and once “a complaint is filed, we will take appropriate action”. Ex-serviceman Rajinder Singh, along with his father and several neighbours from R S Pura constituency, staged a protest outside Press Club Jammu, claiming that his daughter who was pursuing her studies at a college in Punjab was abducted by their local BJP MLA Gagan Bhagat.

“My daughter got admission in Desh Bhagat University, Punjab, after I approached the legislator. She was in the first year of Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery (BAMS) course. I visited her on June 21 to take her home in view of the summer vacation but came to know that she was already taken by the MLA on March 8 without informing us,” said Singh, a resident of Kalyana village of R S Pura. Reacting to the claim, the BJP MLA Bhagat said the “allegations are baseless and motivated, aimed at defaming” his public image.

“These are baseless allegations. Instead of lodging a police complaint, if somebody holds a protest then there is a motive behind it. Going straight to the media to level wild allegations was aimed at defaming me,” he told reporters at a hurriedly convened press conference late this evening. The R S Pura MLA said if the allegations were proved right, he will resign as a legislator. Bhagat said the girl had probably not come home due to some “pressure” and “I am sure the truth will prevail”.

“The family is unnecessarily defaming their daughter. If he (girl’s father) is saying that he is a soldier, my grandfather was also a soldier and he is not doing any favour,” the BJP MLA said. Admitting contact with the girl, he said “being a public representative, it is my duty to reach out to the people of my constituency”. “I told her that your family had levelled serious allegations of kidnapping against me. She is coming to Jammu very soon and will make a statement,” Bhagat said, adding that based on her statement in his favour, he would file a defamation suit against all those who levelled allegations against him.

Terming it as a “well though-out conspiracy to defame him”, Bhagat said “some people are playing dirty politics. Recently, the leaders of all political parties came together against me and are leaving no stone unturned to defame me.” The BJP legislator said he had even asked the girl to contact her family but she said they are not responding to her calls. “I asked her to send a text message and send its screenshot to me as well.”