Days, after he was accused of rape by a woman from Surat, BJP Gujarat unit vice-president and former MLA Jayanti Bhanushali, resigned on Friday. While police have initiated a probe into the matter, Bhanushali resigned from the party post, following instructions from the BJP leadership. A 21-year-old woman from Surat on Tuesday submitted a written complaint against him to the Surat Police Commissioner’s application receiving centre. The four-page complaint has been transferred to the Kapodara police station for further probe.
The complaint states that the victim came in contact with Bhanushali in 2017, when she was looking for admission to a fashion designing college after completing class XII. The woman claimed that Bhanushali assured her of admission to any college of her choice in Ahmedabad.
As per the complaint, Bhanushali called her to Ahmedabad in November last year from where she was taken to Gandhinagar in his car. The woman has alleged that the car was driven to an isolated spot, where Bhanushali raped her. The complaint further states that Bhanushali asked her to not resist his advances, saying that several girls do the same to get admissions. Then, the complaint said, Bhanushali, who was carrying a knife, raped her inside the car, while his bodyguard and driver, who both had guns, videographed the act.
The woman has alleged that after the incident, Bhanushali raped her on multiple occasions, using the video to blackmail her. According to the complaint, Bhanushali called the victim to Ahmedabad again in March this year, from where he left for Delhi, instructing his driver to drop the victim to a hotel. At the hotel, the woman alleged, the former MLA’s driver raped her. Talking to The Indian Express, Surat Police Commissioner Satish Sharma said, “The applicant did not approach the police station, but left her application with Police Commissioner’s application receiving centre. We have not yet registered an FIR into the incident. First, our policemen will contact the applicant and find out if she stands by the allegations mentioned in the application, then after verification, we will take further actions as per law.”
Meanwhile, Bhanushali has tendered his resignation from the party post to Gujarat BJP president Jitu Vaghani. He sought a fair probe, while accusing some “elements” of defaming him.
Gujarat BJP spokesperson Bharat Pandya said, “Law will take its course on the basis of facts.”