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Maharashtra BJP councillor arrested for rape and extortion


A BJP councillor of Wani Municipal Council in Yavatmal district has been arrested for allegedly raping a woman for over last three years and trying to extort money from her, police said on Saturday.

The accused Dheeraj Digambar Pathe (29), a resident of Wani, was arrested last night based on a complaint filed by a 20-year-old woman, according to the police.

According to a report in Hindustan Times, Balasaheb Khade, Inspector of Wani police station, the victim said in her complaint that she lived in the same locality in Wani as Pathe’s and they knew each other ever since she was a minor. “The victim said that when she was still a minor studying in Class XII, Pathe promised that he would marry her in future, and established physical relationship with her. He started repeatedly sexually assaulting her,” the officer said.

“When she turned major, he demanded that she marry him. When she refused to tie the knot with him, he started troubling her. He started demanding Rs 5 lakh from her as ‘compensation’ for refusing to marry him,” Khade added. The victim, who is now a B.Sc student, said he continued to harass her over his demands. But when she stuck to her ground and turned down all his demands, Pathe opened a Facebook account in her name and started sending objectionable messages from that account to defame her, police said.

The victim took her parents in confidence and shared her ordeal, who then approached the police. Based on the complaint, Pathe was booked under IPC sections 376 (rape), 363 (kidnapping), 365 (kidnapping or abducting with intent secretly and wrongfully to confine person), 384 (extortion) and 471 (using as genuine a forged document). He was also booked under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. He was arrested last night.

According to police, this isn’t the first time the BJP councillor was accused of rape. There is another case against him which is still pending in court.