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Bhopal Hostel Rape: Accused RSS Activist, Enjoys CM’s Blessings, Says Congress

In a video, the accused Ashwini Sharma can be seen standing close to CM Chouhan and touching the latter's feet.

The opposition Congress on Saturday claimed that the director of a hostel, who has been arrested for allegedly raping a deaf and mute tribal girl and molesting two others, is an “activist of the RSS” and “enjoys the blessings” of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

Ashwini Sharma, the director of a hostel for deaf and mute persons located in the Awadhpuri area of Bhopal, was arrested on Wednesday on the basis of a police complaint filed by an inmate, who accused him of repeatedly raping her during her stay in the hostel over the last three years.

Two more girls, who had previously stayed in the hostel, also filed a case of molestation against the accused on Thursday, following which the police slapped charges under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act as well since one of them was a minor when the alleged incident took place in 2017.

“Ashwini Sharma is an activist of the RSS and he enjoys Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s blessings,” Madhya Pradesh Congress’s chief spokesperson Shobha Oza said.

She also released a video, in which Sharma is seen standing close to Chouhan and touching the latter’s feet.

Oza alleged that Sharma’s Facebook account was deleted to hide his connection with BJP leaders.

She accused Chouhan of “hypocrisy”, saying while the chief minister described himself as the “mama” (maternal uncle) of the girls of the state, he was blessing those accused of rape.

While the police had yesterday announced the setting up of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the case, Oza said the Congress did not have “faith” in it.

Inspector General (IG) of Police (Bhopal) Jaydeep Prasad had told PTI yesterday that the SIT would comprise Rahul Lodha, Superintendent of Police (SP), Bhopal City South, additional superintendents of police Rashmi Mishra and Dinesh Kaushal, city SP Virendra Mishra and Awadhpuri Inspector ML Bhati.

“The state government has hurriedly formed an SIT. We do not have faith in it. The accused has political patronage, so a CBI inquiry has become all the more important,” Oza said.

State Congress chief Kamal Nath had yesterday shot off a letter to Chouhan, seeking a probe into the incident by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

Oza also lashed out at the state government’s announcement yesterday that the collectors and SPs of all the districts would inspect the hostels for women on a monthly basis to ensure that such incidents do not happen again.

She said a similar incident had happened in a hostel in Sehore, the chief minister’s home district, “two-three years ago” and despite announcements of monthly inspections at the time, nothing of the sort happened.

Meanwhile, SP Lodha said the members of the SIT met today and they were probing the case from all angles.

IG Prasad said the police were close to filing a chargesheet in the case.

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