After remaining absconding for nearly a month, rape-accused Uttar Pradesh Minister Gayatri Prajapati was today arrested from the city.
Senior Superintendent of Police, Lucknow, Manzil Saini informed that Prajapati was arrested from Aashiyana area of the city early this morning. He was produced before the POCSO Court in Lucknow which sent him to 14-day judicial custody.
Speaking to reporters outside the court, Prajapati said that he was innocent and asked for a Narco test to be conducted on him.
“I am innocent. Narco test should be conducted on me, I have full faith in the court,” the SP leader said.
Manzil Saini, however, rejected the leader’s demand saying, “We arrested him this morning Lucknow. He was planning to surrender. We have collected evidence and as of now there was no need of conducting a Narco test on him. However, we will discuss with the prosecution. We are closely monitoring the case.”
Prajapati’s counsel Sunil Singh alleged that his client was wrongly framed by the police.
“My client was wrongly framed in the case. I request you to go through the FIR, you will get to know everything. We will file bail petition. Police arrested him just before he was about to surrender. He was scheduled to surrender before the court today,” he said.
Prajapati’s arrest comes a day after the STF arrested three more accomplices of the controversial leader and quizzed his two sons and nephew to get clues about his whereabouts.
Six persons named in the FIR against the 49-year-old SP leader have already been picked up by the police.
Prajapati was booked on a Supreme Court directive and an FIR was lodged on February 17 against the minister and six others for allegedly gang-raping a woman and alleged attempt to rape her minor daughter.
The apex court had asked the UP Police to submit an action taken report regarding the incidents in eight weeks. A Look Out notice was also issued against him as also a Non-Bailable Warrant.
His passport too has been impounded. Airports across the country had been alerted about the possibility of Prajapati trying to flee the country.
Reacting to the arrest of the SP leader, BJP leader Vijay Bahadur Pathak said, "State police was till now politicised. As soon as it has been freed from political pressures it has started performing resulting in the arrest."
In the just-concluded Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, Prajapati had lost to BJP from Amethi, the seat he held.