Rajasthan govt to act against those who protested rape of minor by habitual offender

A seven-year-old girl was allegedly raped by Sikandar, a serial offender, on 1 July in Shastri Nagar area of Kota, Rajasthan.

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Jaipur: Rajasthan Parliamentary Affairs Minister Shanti Dhariwal on Monday assured the House that those who pelted stones at police officials and damaged vehicles during protests following the alleged rape of a girl here would be arrested.

A seven-year-old girl was allegedly raped by a man on 1 July in Shastri Nagar area here, triggering protests by locals. Five days after the incident in Shastri Nagar locality, the accused, a habitual offender, had been arrested in Kota on Saturday. Sikandar alias Jivanu was brought to Jaipur, Rajasthan late in the night.

The incident outraged the people of the area, leading to violent protests. They surrounded a police station and damaged a large number of vehicles.

Police had arrested Sikandar, 35, when he had gone to meet an acquaintance, a tea-stall owner, in Bhimganj Mandi area of Kota. The arrest followed a tip-off to one of the 12 police teams that had spread out across the State in search of the suspect.

Dhariwal informed the House on Monday that cases under nine sections of the IPC were registered against protesters who created ruckus on 2 July. He was responding to allegations of delay in action by the state government in the rape case made by BJP MLA Ashok Lahoti during the Zero Hour.

Lahoti said the protesters created an atmosphere of fear on the roads here but police remained a mute spectator. “The day of July 1 was shameful for all of us. A seven-year-old girl was raped and the culprit, Jivanu, was out of police grip for seven days. The accused was involved in 65 cases such as rape and sexual assault,” he said.

However, Transport Minister Pratap Singh Khachariawas rejected Lahoti’s allegations.

Other members of the opposition BJP created an uproar in the Rajasthan Assembly following which Speaker CP Joshi adjourned the House for 10 minutes.

When the House reassembled, Leader of Opposition Gulab Chand Kataria said police arrested the rape accused but action against those who created ruckus should also be taken.

Dhariwal then informed the House that 500-600 people had gathered on roads here and pelted stones at policemen and windowpanes of 50-60 vehicles were damaged on 2 July. “Efforts are underway to arrest them. The man who has been arrested in the rape case is a hardcore criminal. It was not easy for the police to arrest him,” he said.

After the protests erupted, additional policemen were deployed in Shastri Nagar to maintain law and order and internet was blocked in 13 police station areas. The accused in the rape case was arrested from Kota on Saturday.