Rape accused Punjab ex-minister moves HC

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Chandigarh, Oct 3 (IANS) Former SAD Minister Sucha Singh Langah, who is facing rape and cheating charges, on Tuesday moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court here, seeking transit anticipatory bail.

The application is likely to come up for hearing on Wednesday.

Langah had presented himself before the Duty Magistrate at the district court here on Monday. The court had then refused his plea and asked him to surrender in Gurdaspur town where the case against him was registered.

The Punjab Police, which had been claiming that it was conducting raids across the state for the past three days, did not reach the district court complex to arrest Langah even though he remained there for several hours.

The former Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) Minister was booked in Gurdaspur last week on the complaint of a woman employee of the Punjab Police Vigilance Department.

The victim, a widow, claimed that she had been sexually exploited and raped by Langah since 2009 under the threat of death. She also said that she was a classmate of Langah’s daughter in college.

Langah had remained underground since the registration of the case and failed to surrender in Gurdaspur or Pathankot as promised. The police had conducted raids at various places in Punjab in order to arrest him.

He was booked under Sections 376 (rape), 384 (extortion), 420 (cheating) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code at the Gurdaspur City police station.

Langah, who was a member of the Akali Dal core committee and President of its Gurdaspur district unit, announced his resignation from all party posts and from the membership of Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) after the case was registered against him.

SAD President Sukhbir Singh Badal, who accepted the resignation with immediate effect, had said that Langah resigned to “submit himself to the process of law”.

Meanwhile, Akal Takht, the highest temporal seat of the Sikh religion, has called a meeting of five Sikh high priests on October 5 to discuss the situation emerging out of the registration of the case against Langah.

Langah has termed the case “political vendetta” and “premeditated” just before the Gurdaspur Lok Sabha seat bypoll on October 11.

The SAD and its alliance partner Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have defended Langah, contending that the case was motivated by Punjab’s ruling Congress before the crucial bypoll. The Congress has rubbished the charges.

–IANS

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