Ahmedabad: A Gujarat OBC cell executive committee member and two Gujarati online journalists are among the five persons arrested by the state Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) late on Monday evening for allegedly trying to hoist a trumped-up rape case on two IPS officers.
The group was allegedly planning to extort Rs 8 crore from the officers, ATS officials said.
BJP member suspended, claims party
BJP OBC cell member GK Prajapati has been suspended with immediate effect, according to the party.
The others arrested in the case are Ashutosh Pandya and Kartik Jani, who both are stringers of different Gujarati news portals, a Surat-based middleman Haresh Jadhav and Mahendrasinh Parmar, who does public relations work.
The racket came to light after a 33-year-old woman’s affidavit alleging that a senior police officer raped her at his residence in Chandkheda area of the city surfaced on social media recently, according to the ATS.
Conspiracy against official
Prajapati, Jadhav, and Parmar, allegedly cooked up a conspiracy and cajoled the woman to sign the false affidavit and used the journalists to publicise the affidavit, the ATS said.
The woman had filed a complaint against her husband Ismail Malek at the Pethapur police station in Gandhinagar district, accusing him of forcing her into physical relationships with his friends and business acquaintances. Malek was arrested and continues to be in judicial custody after his bail plea was rejected last week.
Before she filed the complaint, the woman, who was introduced to Prajapati alias GK Dada, informed him that Malek took her to a bungalow in Chandkheda area, where a 45-year-old man identified as a “top police officer in Ahmedabad” raped her twice. She told Prajapati that the official had reportedly promised to free her brother from charges of theft and extortion in a case filed by her husband against the woman and her family members in November last year.
Rs 8-crore extortion plan
Prajapati had misled the woman and urged her not to record the details of rape in her Pethapur complaint and then introduced her to Haresh Jadhav, the ATS said. Prajapati and Jadhav then allegedly planned the Rs 8-crore extortion conspiracy in the presence of the woman. Later, the duo discussed the strategy with Pandya and Jani to add a senior IPS officer’s name in the case.
Prajapati showed a photo of the police officer to the woman, who said this officer had done no wrong to her. ATS investigations found that Prajapati and others decided to name another police officer and a revised affidavit was drafted on January 28. Fresh paragraphs with the names of some police officers were added to the affidavit without her knowledge and she signed the same without reading it. Jadhav and Parmar then allegedly started contacting the subordinates of the police officers repeatedly and threatened to frame the officers in the rape case.
All five were arrested from Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar.