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Absconding UP minister Prajapati arrested

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Lucknow: After being on the run for nearly a month, rape-accused UP minister Gayatri Prajapati was today arrested from the city by Lucknow Police.
Six others accused in the case have already been nabbed.

"Prajapati was arrested from Aashiyana area of the city early this morning," Senior Superintendent of Police, Lucknow, Manzil Saini told PTI.

The 49-year-old SP leader was produced before a POCSO court which remanded him to 14-day judicial custody, the SSP said.

Prajapati was booked on a Supreme Court directive and an FIR was lodged on February 17 against the minister and six others for allegedly gang-raping a woman and alleged attempt to rape her minor daughter.

The apex court had asked the UP Police to submit an action taken report regarding the incidents in eight weeks. As the tainted minister was being taken to custody in a luxury vehicle, questions were raised by Samajwadi Party's rivals as to how he could get the facility.

With photographs of Prajapati travelling in an SUV going viral on social media and news channels, he was soon shifted to a police vehicle while being taken to court.

Prajapati told reporters that he was going to surrender but was arrested.

"I am innocent. This is a conspiracy to malign me," he said and added that he was prepared for a NARCO test to bring out the truth.He also demanded a NARCO test on the minor victim. DGP Javeed Ahmed said, "Gayatri Prajapati was arrested in Lucknow. He was constantly moving from one place to another all this while. This made the job of police more challenging."

He said there was no political pressure on the police to allow the minister go scot free.

Reacting to the "delayed" arrest of the SP leader, BJP UP General Secretary Vijay Bahadur Pathak said, "The state police was till now politicised. As soon as it has been freed from political pressures it has started performing resulting in the arrest."

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