Teen, Mother Assaulted By Gayatri Prajapati Threatened By Cops: Lawyer

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A teen told police that her mother was gang-raped several times by a group including Gayatri Prajapati.

New Delhi:  As Gayatri Prajapati, the Uttar Pradesh minister facing arrest for the gang-rape of a woman, remains missing, her young daughter who is at Delhi's AIIMS hospital, on Thursday recorded her statement with the police. Over two years, her mother was gang-raped several times, allegedly by a group including Mr Prajapati. The daughter claims they had targeted her too. The family has taken refuge in Delhi, saying they were being harassed by the Uttar Pradesh police. A case was registered against Mr Prajapati following the orders of the Supreme Court. In face of a possible arrest, Mr Prajapati -- a Samajwadi Party candidate from high profile Amethi -- has gone missing.

"How can we trust UP police? She was threatening us while taking the statement? We never got any hearing from them even when we went to the DGP," said the girl's brother.

Memood Pracha, the lawyer representing the girl's mother objected to the recording of statement. "Firstly, they did not take permission from the doctors. Also, the police threatened the mother and the daughter and snatched their mobile phone. The girl is still in trauma," news agency Press Trust of India quoted him as saying.

The Uttar Pradesh police have denied the allegation. "I wanted to see their (the family's) Whatsapp records, so I asked for the phone and she refused to give it. It was all done in front of camera," said Ameeta Singh, a police officer from Alambag. "The arrest (of Mr Prajapati) is a possibility," she added.

The doctors at AIIMS said the 16-year-old, who was sexually assaulted eight months ago, gets panic attacks, often wakes up at night and had tried to run away from her ward.

"They tried to rape me and held my mother tight as she kept crying and pleaded with them to stop. They threatened her before setting me free," the girl said on Wednesday, speaking between long pauses. "I want to see Prajapati and his men behind the bars," PTI quoted her as saying.

Her mother, who alleges she was exploited on the promise of a position in the ruling Samajwadi Party and sand mining contracts, moved Supreme Court after her complaints to the police were allegedly ignored.

The Samajwadi Party has been caught in a catch 22 situation over Mr Prajapati. The party is apprehensive that his arrest may play into the hands of the opposition ahead of the last two phases of the assembly elections in the state. But the lack of an arrest is also being fully exploited by the BJP and the BSP, whose leaders have targeted the ruling party in rally after rally. Mayawati has called it a "weakness" of Akhilesh Yadav and BJP's Smriti Irani has called the party a "protector of rapists".

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