Former Rajasthan minister Babulal Nagar arrested
JAIPUR: Former Rajasthan minister Babu Lal Nagar was arrested by the CBI on Friday on charges of raping a married woman after allegedly calling her on the pretext of giving a government job last month.
Nagar has become the second minister and the third Congress legislator to get arrested on charges of sexual exploitation of women. He represents the Dudu assembly constituency in Jaipur district.
The CBI called Nagar for questioning at the Circuit House here in the day and arrested him on Friday evening on the basis of preliminary evidence against him. While entering the Circuit House, Nagar told reporters that he had full faith in the CBI probe. The legislator denied the charges against him and said, ‘I would cooperate with in the investigation and would not hide the truth.’ Hundreds of Nagar supporters gathered outside the Circuit House on Friday as the accused legislator arrived from the CBI questioning.
Before Nagar, Osian legislator Mahipal Maderna and Luni legislator Malkhan Singh Bishnoi were arrested by the CBI in 2011 on charges of conspiring to kidnap and murder a government nurse with whom they allegedly had illicit relations. Like Nagar, Maderna was then a minister in the Ashok Gehlot government and was forced to step down. The threesome was later suspended from the Congress’s primary membership.
The investigating agency was on the job since 9 October. Earlier, the state police’s CID (crime branch) dragged on the investigations for nearly a month, prompting people to questioning its fairness.
The 35-year-old rape victim had to approach the lower court even to get her complaint registered with the Jaipur police, which have been accused of working under influence of Nagar, who was then the minister for dairy, khadi and rural industries. Nagar used to flaunt his proximity to chief minister Gehlot.
Even his Congress colleagues supported the women rights’ organisations and the public to demand that he be expelled as minister and the probe be handed over to the CBI. But the Dudu legislator, who was earlier the Congress Seva Dal chief, carried so much influence in the party’s state unit that it declined to act against him.