MoS Nihal Chand Meghwal remains defiant, refuses to resign over rape charge
Zee Media Bureau/Biplob Ghosal
Jaipur: As political leaders continue to demand for Union Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilizers, Nihal Chand Meghwal`s resignation, who is an accused in a rape case of a married woman, the newly elected minister on Wednesday ruled out his resignation.
"I will not resign," he told reporters at Sriganganagar district when his attention was drawn to street protests by Congress and women outfits demanding his removal from the ministry.
When the Union Minister was asked further questions on the issue, he replied, “no comments.”
A court has issued a notice to Meghwal and 16 others in a 2011 rape case. In 2011, a woman from Rajasthan had filed an FIR accusing Meghwal and 16 others, including her husband, of sexual exploitation. After an investigation, the police closed the case in 2012 as it found the charges to be false and fabricated.
Te alleged victim yesterday expressed hope and requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to meet her for few minutes so that she can narrate her ordeal.
Speaking to the media, the woman said that PM Modi is a `good person`, but Cabinet Minister Meghwal is not and should be removed.
She also sought time from the Prime Minister to address her grievances and demand justice.
The woman said she very well remembers what happened with her in 2011 and recognises Meghwal.
The alleged victim also accused the Union Minister of threatening her, offering her money and job to take back the case. “I feel scared and stay in different villages. The administration should provide security to my family,” the woman demanded.
Women Congress workers on Wednesday gathered in front of the BJP headquarters to demand the removal of Meghwal.
The protest, led by the women`s wing of the Congress, demanded that both the police and the BJP take action against Meghwal and that stricter laws be framed to protect women from harassment.
Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar told ANI, "Our PM talks about zero tolerance and then this happens, they just lie every time. The BJP should decide if they will sack Nihal Chand or not, but what I feel is that they should follow what they had promised the people. They should answer if they have zero tolerance for crime against women, then why is he still there in the ministry."
Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leader, Jay Panda, demanded the case be tried in a fast track court, "It is a very serious issue and law should be equal for everyone, be it a minister or a layman PM Narendra Modi has given commitment that when something as serious as this happens, then the matter should be investigated as fast as possible and should be brought to justice. I feel this case should be taken to a fast track court."
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