Mumbai: A Bharatiya Janata Party leader in Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli was arrested on Tuesday after a 20-year-old woman filed a case of rape against him and alleged he promised to marry her and also get her a job, police said on Wednesday.
According to reports, the woman lodged the complaint after a video clip of the Ravindra Bawanthade, a school teacher and BJP’s Gadchiroli district general secretary, kissing her in a moving luxury bus went viral across the state on Tuesday.
Bawanthade was also the party in-charge of Armori assembly constituency in the district during the 2014 state elections.
Reports said the incident happened when Bawanthade was returning from Nagpur to Gadchiroli in the bus along with the woman a few days ago. The footage from the close circuit television camera installed in the bus shows the leader kissing and forcing himself upon her in the presence of other passengers.
Bawanthade was arrested by the Nagbhid Police at Bramhapuri on Tuesday morning and taken into police custody until July 6 for further interrogation, reports said. The police booked the BJP leader under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including 376 for the offence of rape.
Senior BJP leader and Gadchiroli Lok Sabha member Ashok Nete, however, claimed Bawanthade is no longer an office-bearer of the party.
“As he repeatedly failed to attend party meetings, he was removed from the post of party general secretary,” Nete further said.