Lucknow: Gayatri Prajapati, the absconding Samajwadi Party leader accused of rape, was arrested in Lucknow by UP Police early on Wednesday morning.
DGP Javeed Ahmed confirmed the arrest. During preliminary questioning, Prajapati told the police that he had been on the run since February 27 and spent his time in West Bengal and some southern states. According to senior superintendent of police Manzil Saini, Prajapati is likely to be produced before the POCSO Court later in the day.
In a major breakthrough, three of Prajapati’s accomplices were arrested from Lucknow on Tuesday. Of them, two were Prajapati’s sons and they were held for giving shelter to the accused. Police questioned Prajapati’s sons for clues regarding the whereabouts of their absconding father. They revealed information about some people who were in touch with Prajapati, which helped the investigators zero in on him.
Police were also set to move court on Wednesday to seek permission to attach his properties. Last week, a Special Task Force had nabbed two more accomplices from Noida in connection to this case. All the arrested associates of Prajapati have been named as co-accused in the case. Prajapati, along with six others, was charged with allegedly gang-raping a woman and molesting her minor daughter in 2014.
The UP minister had been on the run since an FIR was lodged against him in February 17 this year on a directive of the Supreme Court. Prajapati had decamped on February 27 and evaded arrest for 17 days. Police had issued a non-bailable warrant against Prajapati, and his passport had also been impounded to prevent him from fleeing the country.
In the just-concluded Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, Prajapati had lost to BJP from Amethi, the seat he held.