While former BJP district president of Sawai Madhopur women’s wing Smita Verma is under arrest along with four others, Pooja Choudhary, who is the former district president of the women’s wing of Seva Dal, is absconding. Both are accused of running a sex racket by a minor girl who filed a complaint against them on September 22.While state BJP immediately removed Verma from her post and distanced itself from her, the Congress is refusing to admit that she is associated with the party.
“We don’t know who Poonam Choudhary is,” said state Congress president Govid Singh Dotasra.
State Congress Seva Dal president Hemsingh Shekhawat also stated that Choudhary was never associated with the party.
Congress’ inaction has prompted the BJP leaders to lash out at the ruling party.
BJP MP Col Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore on Friday took to Twitter and wrote, “Congrees Govt in Rajasthan can see only BJP links when systemic exploitation and abuse of women as sex objects happens in Sawai madhopur under their noses! (sic)” He further wrote “We not only want the guilty punished, but want to know the names of all people involved in this sex racket irrespective of their ‘claimed affiliations’.”
Sawai Madhopur police, who have arrested five, including Verma, claimed that Choudhary was the one who enticed the minor girl by falsely promising her that she would help her ‘succeed’ in life. According to the complainant, Verma forced her to have physical relation with people in exchange for money.
Om Prakash Solanki, circle officer, women cell, Sawai Madhopur, said, “The girl along with her parents lodged a complaint with us 10 days back following which we initiated the investigation and found that the alleged assault happened between October 2019 and May 2020.”
Three persons are accused of raping the minor girl who is below 17 years of age though cops refused to divulge more details.
“One of Verma’s accomplices, Poonam, who is apparently associated with the local Congress unit, befriended the girl when she was returning from school and took her to meet the BJP leader. Following this, Verma allegedly sent the girl to meet men who allegedly raped her. Verma apparently also took money from these men. The electrician who was arrested worked in Verma’s house and she owed him some payment but instead of giving money she sent the girl to him,” added Solanki.
On August 4, Verma had attempted to send the girl to Jaipur as well and also took money from her, including her father’s savings. The girl alleged that after the first time that she was sexually assaulted, the accused took video recording of the same and continued to blackmail her with it.
Cops claimed that more arrests are likely in the case. Elaborating further on the investigation, Solanki said, “We are looking into all possible aspects and also verifying if Verma exploited other girls as well though nothing has come to light so far.”