Serious allegations of repeated sexual exploitation have been levelled against BJP MLA Ravindra Nath Tripathi. He is currently an MLA from Bhadohi constituency in Uttar Pradesh. The victim has alleged that she was raped multiple times between 2016-17 by Tripathi, his nephew Sandip Tripathi, and five more men belonging to their family. She was also forced to undergo abortion when she became pregnant. The FIR naming these seven people was registered on February 10, 2020.
The victim had met Sandip Tripathi during a train journey in 2014. He asked for her number and they began talking. Soon they grew intimately close. He promised to marry her and went on to establish sexual relations with her in 2016. During the UP elections of 2017, she was confined in a hotel at Bhadohi for one month where Ravindra Nath Tripathi, his three sons (Nitesh, Prakash, Deepak), and two other nephews (Chandrabhushan and Sachin) raped her. When she informed Sandip, he asked her not to tell anybody about it. He also began to reject her requests for marriage. She was recently threatened and harassed by him.
The case had been registered under section 376 D (gang rape), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of Indian Penal Code. Superintendent of Police, Rambadan Singh said that a team is investigating the case. The MLA has denied the charges and said that his family and he are ready to be hanged if the allegations are proven to be true.
Earlier, Kuldeep Singh Sengar, expelled BJP MLA from UP was awarded life imprisonment for raping a woman in Unnao. He also harassed the victim and her family. Her father died in judicial custody whereas she was burnt alive by five men in December 2019.
Why are politicians from UP at the forefront of such heinous crimes against women? In the light of the same, the latest Supreme Court order of releasing criminal records of all candidates seems to make a lot of sense. Those convicted of crimes of such a serious nature must be debarred from contesting any elections. Moreover, as citizens we must be careful as to who we are choosing to represent us. These abominable crimes are examples of how power in the wrong hands can be disastrous.