Former UP Minister Gayatri Prajapati along with his two accomplices – Ashok Tiwari and Ashish Shukla were sentenced to life imprisonment by the UP Court under the charges of gang rape. Moreover, the court has also imposed a fine of Rs 2 lakh on Prajapati, Tiwari and Shukla.
The special court of lawmakers on Wednesday held Prajapati and two other, Ashish Shukla and Ashok Tiwari guilty of gang raping a woman and also tryign to rape her minor daughter. The judge however acquitted the four other accused namely Chanderpal (Gayatri’s gunner), PRO Rupeshwar, Vikas Verma, son of a top PCS officer and Amrendra Singh, due to lack of evidence.
Following the sentence, the Special Judge has directed the Lucknow police commissioner to ascertain the circumstances in which the rape victim and two other witnesses had changed their statement multiple times throughout the trial.
Prajapati was a key member of the Akhilesh Yadav’s cabinet and held portfolios of the Transport and Mining Ministries. He was arrested in March 2017 after a woman accused him of raping her and attempting to rape her minor daughter as well.
Chitrakoot Gang Rape Case
The incident took place in 2017 when a woman from the Chitrakoot district was gangraped and further attempted to outrage the modesty of her 17 years old daughter. After the incident, the UP police refused to file an FIR against Gayatri in the case. However, the woman moved the Supreme Court and filed a PIL against the minister.
Following the apex court’s order, the police filed her FIR. In her complaint, she named the UP minister and others as accused. Later, in the court the woman changed her statement and said that the minister did not rape her but the two of his aides did.
All the accused in the case were arrested and sent to jail. Last year, in September, Prajapati was granted interim bail of two months by the Lucknow Bench of Allahabad High Court on medical grounds.
Gayatri has been in jail since March 2018. The woman claimed that the minister and his accomplices have been raping her since 2014 but she decided to complaint against them after they tried to rape her minor daughter