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Police probing rape charges against ex-minister Dhobale: Maha government

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The Maharashtra government on Friday informed the Bombay High Court that the crime branch of city police was probing the complaint of rape against former state minister and the sitting NCP MLA from Solapur, Laxman Dhobale.

Government prosecutor SS Shinde stated that the case had been transferred to the crime branch of Mumbai police, and police protection had been given to the victim and her family.

Recording the statement, the division bench of Justices VM Kanade and PD Kode adjourned the matter for two weeks.

The court has converted into a petition a letter written by the 42-year-old complainant to Chief Justice Mohit Shah, alleging rape by the former minister and apprehending threat to her and her family members’ lives.

The court had yesterday directed the police to grant protection to the family.

On the complaint lodged by the victim, Borivali police have already lodged a case against Dhobale for rape and intimidation.

The victim works as a clerk at an educational institution where Dhobale is a trustee. She alleges that he blackmailed her by threatening to make public certain photographs of her and sexually exploited her for nearly two years.

In her letter, she has alleged that instead of recording her statement, suburban Borivali police harassed her, and she has no faith in them so the probe be transferred to the crime branch.

Dhobale has denied the allegations, saying that the woman levelled these allegations because she had been found to be involved in misappropriation of funds at the institute.

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