Vadodara police have arrested a chartered accountant accused of raping a law student multiple times, filming nude videos of her and circulating them online. Along with the CA, Ashok Jain, his friend Raju Bhatt has also been arrested on charges of rape, criminal intimidation and sexual harassment. Police sources said the third accused in the case is a Vadodara-based businessman who allegedly tried to mediate a settlement with the student.
The complaint was registered on September 21.
The young law student had shifted for her career from Haryana to Vadodara, where she rented a small room. According to the FIR, Jain and Bhatt — who had become friends with the young woman by helping her settle in Vadodara — raped her after spiking her drink.
Jain, who had installed a spy camera in the woman’s bathroom, shot her nude pictures and videos and circulated them online, according to the complaint.
The accused had forced the woman to return to the office and resume her duties after the assault, according to call records accessed by the police. In order to ensure the woman did not approach the police, the prime accused also offered her the post of CEO and a major share from a land deal involving a company that is on SEBI’s defaulter list, police sources said.
Ashok Jain also smashed the woman’s phone in an attempt to threaten her and later purchased a new handset for her. The owner of the shop from where Jain allegedly bought the phone is among the 63 witnesses listed in the case so far. Other witnesses include the family members of the prime accused, his employees, the owner of the rented flat, and other witnesses.
On Thursday, Vadodara city police’s Detection of Crime Branch (DCB) arrested Jain, who had been on the run since the FIR was lodged on September 19, from Palitana in Bhavnagar, where he was living in a dharamshala travelling to Lonavala in Maharashtra, and Rajasthan.
D S Chauhan, assistant commissioner of police, DCB, said the police will investigate the trail of the CA’s escape to identify people who could have sheltered him. Chauhan said police officers had disguised themselves as guests at the dharamshala to identify and arrest the prime accused.
The DCB has also nabbed a bootlegger wanted in several prohibition cases. According to the police, the bootlegger is a friend of the woman and is being brought to Vadodara from Haryana.
“He is a witness in this case and wanted in other prohibition cases. He was on the run for a long time,” ACP Chauhan said.
All the accused have been booked under sections of the IPC dealing with repeated rape, including sexual harassment, assault or use of criminal force with the intention of disrobing, rape by a relative, guardian or teacher, or a person in a position of trust or authority towards the woman, rape by man in a position of control or dominance over a woman, unnatural sex, causing hurt by means of poison, voluntarily causing hurt, criminal intimidation, and crime in presence of abettor.