Ex-BJP Thane MLA & Fadnavis aide booked for rape

Ex-BJP Thane MLA & Fadnavis aide booked for rape

Thane (Maharashtra), Feb 28 (IANS) In a massive embarrassment to the Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), it’s former high-profile MLA from Mira Road Narendra Mehta has been booked on charges of alleged rape levelled by a BJP woman municipal corporator, officials said here on Friday. He is likely to be arrested soon.

A close aide of Leader of Opposition and former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Mehta, 47, has been booked for offences of sexual assault by the Navghar Police on Friday after the complaint by his party female colleague and a civic lawmaker.

Among other things, the victim has accused him of harassment, threats to her and her 16-year old son fathered by the accused, sexual exploitation and even posted a candid video of her plight on her social media networks.

Taking cognizance, the police lodged her complaint around 3.30 a.m. on Friday, and she has already lodged similar complaints with the IGP (Konkan Range) and Superintendent Of Police, Thane.

The victim stated in her complaint that she got acquainted with the accused Mehta in 1999 and they were married in 2001, but he warned her not to make their relationship public.

Despite his marriage with the victim, Mehta went ahead and married again in 2003, and continued to sexually exploit her (the victim).

She added that she had a 16-year old son fathered by Mehta who threatened her against disclosing his parental status.

Known for his flamboyant and lavish lifestyle – who gifted a Lamborghini to his wife Suman recently – the influential Mehta was considered a prominent political figure of Mira-Bhayander towns of Thane, a BJP stronghold, around 10 km from Mumbai.

On February 24, speculation was rife in political circles after Mehta – former Mayor of Mira-Bhayander Municipal Corporation – abruptly quit all party posts, followed by certain videos which went viral on social media networks.

Mehta’s political downslide started in the October 2019 assembly polls when he suffered a shock defeat as the official BJP candidate at the hands of a BJP rebel candidate, Geeta Jain, also an ex-Mayor of MBMC.

In June 2019, he was in the news after a furore over a political group allegedly organising ‘weapons training’ for children at the Seven Square Academy, one of the schools run by Mehta in Mira Road.

With varied business interests in realty, education and health sectors, Mehta – who earlier faced extortion and corruption cases – has been booked under Indian Penal Code provisions pertaining to rape besides SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.