Lokmanya Tilak kin booked for rape, victim claims threat to life

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Pune, July 18 (IANS) Police here have booked city Congress leader Rohit D. Tilak, a descendant of legendary freedom fighter Lokmanya Tilak, on charges of rape following a complaint lodged by a woman, an official said here on Tuesday.

“He has been booked under Indian Penal Codes’ section 376 (rape) and other charges on Monday night. Further investigations are on in the matter,” an official of Vishrambaug Police Station told IANS.

Tilak is the great-great-grandson of Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak, a grandson of former Maharashtra Assembly Speaker Jayantrao Tilak, and son of Dipak Tilak, the Vice-Chancellor of Tilak Maharashtra Vidyapeeth.

His aunt Mukta Tilak is the current Bharatiya Janata Party Mayor of Pune.

Deputy Commissioner of Police Basavraj Teli said that the victim and the accused have known each other since 2015.

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Speaking to large contingent of media persons outside the police station on Tuesday, the victim noted that she is under “severe pressure” ever since she registered the complaint against the Tilak descendent who is also a prominent Congress leader.

“I am under constant threats from the family… There is a danger to my life, I have not been keeping well,” claimed the woman whose face was covered by a veil.

A lawyer by profession, she has been separated from her husband since over a decade and came in touch with Tilak two years ago at a public function.

She has alleged that he lured her with the promise of marriage and repeatedly raped her, assaulted and threatened her. On at least two occasions in the past, she had even attempted suicide, police said.

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Teli said a woman officer of a neigbouring police station has been assigned to investigate the case and proceed further.

A scion of the one of the most illustrious political families in Maharashtra, Tilak had been given a Congress ticket to contest the assembly elections from Kasba constituency twice in the past, but he proved unsuccessful against the BJP candidate.

Besides rape and unnatural offences, Tilak – who is not yet arrested – has been charged on various counts of assault, criminal intimidation and threats to the complainant-victim.



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