Congress says Bhopal rape accused hostel owner received government grant

Congress has alleged that they have proof that government gave assistance to the boys’ hostel run by rape accused Ashwini Sharma at a time when the BJP is trying to distance itself from Sharma.

Sharma has been accused of raping and molesting four hearing and speech impaired women who stayed in his hostel. Sharma has since been arrested and is in police custody till Monday.

Congress vice-president Bhupendra Gupta produced an official letter dated December 28, 2016 from the director, social justice department, Ajit Kumar to the joint director, social justice department, Bhopal in which he says that Kripalu Boys hostel (which was run by Sharma) be given Rs 1800 per head every month towards food for 74 specially-abled students who were studying in Industrial Training Institute, Bhopal. The letter goes on to say that this assistance was being given under a special scheme for physically challenged students who were studying in ITIs and was for the year 2016-17.

Gupta alleged that social justice minister Gopal Bhargava had said that they had only given scholarships to the specially-abled students directly and had not given any assistance to Sharma, and this letters gives evidence on the contrary. He demanded that Gupta should resign from his post, like ministers in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh after the rape incidents in Muzaffarpur and Devaria.

Gopal Bhargava said, “I have been misquoted. Also my officials never informed me that we had given any assistance to this person. You see there are so many organizations that are getting assistance. We know some of the big ones and it is not possible to monitor all. I have not seen the document which the Congress party is showing, but I will ask my officials to look into it.”

The Congress has been insisting that Sharma has political patronage and also help from social justice department officials. On Saturday Congress State media in-charge Shobha Oza had had produced in video clip showing chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan patting and blessing Sharma on his back at a fund raiser programme organized in Bhopal for Uttarkhand floods of 2013.

First Published: Aug 12, 2018 20:54 IST

Updated: August 12, 2018 — 11:40 pm