Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA Raghunandan Rao, who has been booked for revealing the identity of the victim in the Jubilee Hills gang rape case said that he will handle the case legally and will not avoid any kind of legal procedure in the matter.
Rao has been booked under 228A (disclosure of the identity of the victim) of the Indian Penal Code for allegedly releasing the videos and photos of the minor victim.
“I am a law-abiding citizen. If I have committed any mistake, the police have already registered the case and I will fight in court. Let the police say something in this case, rather than Congress. We should fight for the girl and demand the arrest of all the accused. Your party lost its value, you didn’t raise this issue and you are trying to throw stones at me to get some fame,” the BJP leader said.
He further refuted allegations of having released videos of the survivor and termed them as mere “rumours”.
“These are only rumours as I have not done anything like this. I don’t have any connection with the AIMIM, but Congress and TRS have. If an AIMIM MLA is involved in this case, then why will the party share the video with me? If the police sends me any notice, then I will reply to them only. If they arrest me, I will take bail from the court. I will handle this case legally. I will not avoid any legal procedure,” he added.
This came after senior Congress leader Renuka Chowdhury slammed Rao for revealing the identity of the survivor in the Jubilee Hills gang rape case on June 7.
“BJP leader Raghunandan is a practising advocate. He is a man who is supposed to uphold the law and is showing the identity of the minor girl who was raped, while the case is going on. He is guilty of not only that but also of denigrating the girl in society,” said Chowdhury.
According to the FIR filed on June 6, the complainant alleged that on June 4, BJP MLA Madhavaneni Raghunandan Rao addressed a press conference at the BJP state office in Kattelmandi in Abids area. The press conference was in connection with the teenager’s gang rape at Jubilee Hills in Hyderabad and the MLA released photographs and videos related to the incident to the media that revealed the minor victim’s identity, while the investigation is in progress, the complainant alleged.
The complainant further stated that through his act, Rao was interfering in the administration of justice and character assassination of the survivor and “may have caused the minor victim colossal distress”.
So far, six accused in the case have been arrested in the case and five among them are minors, according to Commissioner of Police CV Anand who announced this in a press conference on Tuesday night.
The name of one of the accused- Saddudin Malik- has been revealed by the police while the identities of the minors have been withheld.
A 17-year-old girl was allegedly gang-raped when she was returning home after a party in the Jubilee Hills area of Hyderabad on May 28. Following the incident, the minor girl’s father submitted a complaint to the police regarding the incident. A case was registered against five accused involved in the case under sections 354 and 323 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Section 9 read with 10 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.