Ahmedabad: A BJP leader in Gujarat's Vadodara, accused of raping a student of a private university of which he is president, has been suspended from the party even as police on Monday launched a search for him after he went underground following the police complaint against him.
The 22-year-old girl, who is a nursing student in the Parul University in Vadodara's Waghodia area, has alleged in her police complaint that Jayesh Patel, 66, called her to a housing quarter on the university campus through their hostel rector Bhavna Patel on Friday evening and raped her
Jayesh Patel promised the girl that he would ensure good results in the examination and also 100 per cent class attendance as he tried to lure her towards him. When she tried to resist his advances, he allegedly raped her.
After her complaint, the Vadodara police immediately got her examined at the government-run SSG Hospital and the medical reports confirmed that she was raped, said Superintendent of Police Saurabh Tolumbia.
The Vadodara police launched a hunt for Jayesh Patel, who immediately escaped while the police complaint against him was still being recorded. Police questioned his family members at his home for his whereabouts but to no avail, while Bhavna Patel has been arrested from her native Mansa town in north Gujarat where she was hiding.
The Bharatiya Janata Party's Vadodara district president Dilbubha Chudasma said Patel was suspended from the party for six years without wasting time "since such a incident should not tarnish the reputation of the party".
Patel had earlier contested the state assembly elections from the area on a Congress ticket but had later joined the BJP after he lost to the party's Waghodia MLA Madhu Srivastava.
State Education Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasma said: "Chief Minister Anandiben Patel and I and my department have taken this matter very seriously and would conduct a thorough inquiry in the case."
Jayesh Patel had immediately resigned as the university president and handed over charge to his son and vice-president of Parul University Devanshu, who has completely denied all allegations against his father and said he was being framed since the girl was facing disciplinary action. He did not clarify the reasons for the action pending against her.
Tolambia, meanwhile, stated that the hostel rector Bhavna Patel "has revealed many details about the case and we are in the process of gathering more evidence".
According to the girl's complaint, Jayesh Patel called her at 8 pm on Friday to a housing quarter in the hostel on the university campus through Bhavna Patel. She had called the nursing student on her mobile phone.
When both reached the appointed place, Patel asked the hostel rector to leave and that told her that the girl would return after dinner.