Congress leader Tariq Ali, president of the party’s Narela assembly constituency unit in MP, and his 2 brothers have been charged in a case of raping, illegally confining & assaulting a 23-year-old girl, Hindi news daily Patrika has reported.
The victim, a resident of Aishbagh area in Bhopal, works in a private company and also supports her younger siblings as their parents are no more. In 2015, she met Shariq Ali, brother of Congress leader Tariq Ai. The victim has stated in her complaint that she was given a cold drink laced with sedatives at a restaurant in Bilkhiriya and then taken to a farm house where she was raped by Shariq Ali.
Later, he promised to marry her to keep her from complaining. When the girl started insisting on marriage, he threatened to circulate the rape video that he had recorded. Using the video, he continued to sexually exploit the girl for the past three years.
Finally, the desperate girl decided to go to Shariq Ali’s house to request his family for marriage. There, Shariq’s brothers Tariq and Raja abused and physically assaulted her – they locked her in a room from where she somehow managed to escape and approached police to file a case.
But her ordeal didn’t end there. Initially, Aishbagh and Ashoka Garden police were apathetic to her case and refused to lodge the FIR on grounds of different jurisdiction. It is said that the political connections of the accused had a part to play in the police inaction. It was only when the matter reached higher-ups that police swung into action, and a case has now been lodged against main accused Shariq Ali and his two brothers – Tariq Ali and Raja Ali – who have been made co-accused.
Tariq Ali is considered close to several senior Congress leaders and was also in-charge of a recent rally taken out in Narela constituency area by senior Congress leader Mahendra Singh Chauhan. In the past, Tariq Ali has also contested a councillor election on a Congress ticket.
Police have registered a case under section 367(2) (N), 506 B, 294 and 342 of the IPC and have started further investigation. The accused are absconding – police raided few places but failed to find them. Police said that the search for the absconding accused has been intensified
This news has received widespread attention in regional Hindi media – with other papers like Bhaskar and Hindi.News18, apart from Patrika too covering it. However, the news has been either ignored or watered-down by English language media. For eg. the Daily Pioneer report on the case is titled ‘Bakery Owner Held for Sexually Assaulting 24-year-old Girl’
In a similar incident from 2015, a girl had accused Tanish Khan, the son of Congress leader Tariq Khan, of raping her and then sexually exploiting her using the rape video – the incident came to light after the victim’s brother stabbed the accused. That news too was not deemed important enough by the English language media to cover and demand action from Congress leadership in state and centre.
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