Bail plea rejected for Arunachal BJP MLA accused of raping pregnant woman


The anticipatory bail plea of Arunachal Pradesh’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator – Lokam Tassar, who is charged with raping a pregnant lady, was denied by a sessions court at Yupia near Itanagar on Monday.

Police have registered a case against Lokam Tassar for allegedly raping the woman on July 4 at his residence.

After reviewing the bail application, Judge – Gote Mega stated, “Presence of petitioner and victim at the place of occurrence is prima facie found at this stage. Whether or not the alleged crime was committed on the relevant day is subject to the rule of evidence which can’t be decided at this stage.”

“Nevertheless, having regard to the position and status of the petitioner, it is felt necessary that he should join ongoing criminal investigation by making himself available before the IO (investigating officer) of the case at the earliest occasion,” the court said.

The counsel of the woman said that the police can now arrest the MLA by giving intimation to the speaker of the assembly as no prosecution sanction is required.

Advocate Khoda Tama spoke before the court on behalf of the MLA, claiming that Lokam Tassar had never engaged in consensual sexual activity with the woman or raped her.

He also pleaded the judge to grant the MLA bail, saying that he was ready to assist with the inquiry as needed.

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However, the judge concluded that the submission made by the counsel of the woman and the public prosecutor “holds reasons to be believed that granting of pre-arrest bail will not be proper”. Police have reportedly stepped up their efforts to arrest the MLA.

As per the Sub-Divisional Police Officer (SDPO) – Kamdam Sikom, the MLA’s whereabouts could not be traced, despite raids on two of his residences in Itanagar and Naharlagun.

“We will arrest him as soon as he is found,” Mr Sikom said.

Meanwhile, the Chief Minister – Pema Khandu asserted that the party would take strict action against the MLA if the court finds the allegations against him true. “The law will take its own course and no one is above the law,” Khandu added.

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