The MLA hostel at Civil Lines, Nagpur
Even as the MLA hostels across the state are intermittently in the limelight over some row or practice, the one at Nagpur's elite Civil Lines area is now in the spotlight over alleged multiple rapes of a minor by two people - the survivor's employer's son and her 'boyfriend'.
According to the FIR filed by the survivor's mother, she was raped between April 14 and 17 by the duo, identified as Manoj Bhagat (44) and Rajat Madre (19). While the employer's son, Bhagat, is accused of taking her to the hostel and raping her in his car in the parking area and later in a room, the other is accused of doing the same in that very room. The two accused were arrested by the police under sections of the POCSO Act (child rape) and kidnapping.
Access to rooms
According to a police official, MLA hostel staffers were responsible for allowing the two to use one of the rooms (320) in the government facility, as it is hardly used by legislators. However, even more shocking is the fact that the incident was allowed to take place in spite of the police force posted there to protect the facility.
Usually, access to rooms for a specific number of days is granted to supporters or any person with a recommendation letter of a legislator. Additionally, the government officials and designated people are also granted rooms.
Survivor stepped forward
The rape came to light on Thursday when the victim's mother approached the Gittikhadan police station to lodge a complaint. Following the FIR, the accused were sent to four-day police custody by a local court.
According to reports, the survivor worked at a jewellery store, whose owner asked the girl to travel with him and his family to Bhopal. The girl agreed because it was a family trip. However, instead of Bhopal, the accused brought her to the MLA hostel, where he had managed to get access to a room in connivance with unidentified staffers.
Another woman bashed in the hostel
Yet another incident that surfaced yesterday in the same hostel was the beating up of a woman who was with a Bahujan Mukti Andolan leader in his room there. According to the complaint filed by local singer Kranti Milan, the wife of Suresh Dongre, president of Bahujan Mukti Andolan, and others, assaulted her when she was with him in his hostel room. "I was there for party's official work, but these people (named in FIR), including Dongre's wife, asked me what was I doing there and beat me up," said Milan in her complaint to the Sitabuldi Police.