A case has been registered against the former BJP MLA Narendra Mehta, for allegedly raping and harassing a woman corporator on Friday. The Thane Rural Police lodged an FIR against Mehta and his close aide Sanjay Tharthare. Ironically, Mehta has resigned from all the party post on Monday. However, on Wednesday after winning the Mayor and Deputy Mayoral post in MBMC, corporators and newly elected dignitaries went to Mehta’s bungalow to meet him.
In her complaint, the victim alleged that Mehta is raping her since 1999 and married her in 2001 at the Dahanu Temple. She also alleged that her family faces threat from Mehta since then. She also revealed in the complaint that, her son’s father is Mr. Narendra Mehta, who was born in March 2003. Nevertheless, Mehta got married to his current wife in January 2003.
Mehta and Tharthare are booked under Sections 376(2)(n)(rape), 496 (illegal marriage), 417 (cheating), 323, 504, 506 of the IPC and also under Prevention of Atrocities Act, 1989.
Thartare was also booked for allegedly threatening the woman against going to police in 2015. He had allegedly threatened the woman that Mehta is close to then Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and advised her to settle in Dubai with her child instead.
Incidentally, Mehta resigned from all party posts three days back citing his decision to quit politics. However, political circles were abuzz with speculation around his resignation, which came days after the complainant’s videos went viral on social media.
Ironically, after winning the Mayor and Deputy Mayor election Jyotsana Hasnale and Hasmukh Gehlot respectively along with other corporators went to former BJP MLA Narendra Mehta ’s bungalow’s to take ‘aashirwad’ from him on Wednesday.
After searching for a few hours, both the accused were declared absconding. However, a video and photographs which went viral on social media suggest that both the accused left the town in another BJP’s corporator’s vehicle Toyota Fortuner with registration number ending with 5252. They were seen at the food court on the National Highway.
What opposition says
Meanwhile, Shiv Sena MLA Pratap Sarnaik demanded the immediate arrest of Narendra Mehta, saying it is a “tragedy” that the BJP, which raises the issue of women’s safety in the state, has not taken any action against its leader.
“Law and order issue will arise if such a person (facing rape and harassment charges) roams freely. He should be arrested as soon as possible,” Mr Sarnaik said.
The Thane legislator also termed Narendra Mehta as “Marathi-hater” and alleged that he had once questioned Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s culture. “I wonder why the BJP did not take strict action against Mehta, it needs to introspect,” Mr Sarnaik said.