The victim has alleged that Suresh Chavhanke was exploiting her since 2013 under the pretext of marriage.
Suresh Chavhanke, owner and editor-in-chief of Sudarshan News Network is likely to be arrested after a rape, molestation and criminal intimidation case was filed against him by a former employee of his company. The FIR also names Narayan Sai, son of self-proclaimed godman Asaram Bapu, for attempt to rape. Chavhanke has been booked by the Noida police under 11 sections of the IPC including charges of rape, unnatural sex attempt, attempt to murder, forced miscarriage, criminal intimidation, cheating and insulting the modesty of a woman. Narayan Sai faces charges of attempt to rape and molestation.
In his defence, Chavhanke posted a picture of the FIR on Twitter along with a comment mentioning, “The number of sections lodged against me is bigger than that of Dawood ( Ibrahim)”. The FIR was registered at the Women Police station in Noida Sector 39 on November 2. The victim, aged between 35- 40, has alleged that Chavhanke was exploiting her since 2013 under the pretext of marriage.
When AV spoke to Chavhanke he said, “This is a conspiracy against me and it is supported by Azam Khan and Akbaruddin Owaisi. I am protector of Hindu, so all Muslims are supporting her with funds to demoralise me. I will prove my innocence and continue to serve Dharma and Rashtra (religion and Nation).”
According to the FIR, the victim accused Chavhanke of raping her and attempting unnatural sex with her on October 20 at his news network office. She posted on social media demanding the ban of Sudarshan channel.
“After getting divorced, I was desperate for a job, it was then that Chavhanke offered me a senior position in the HR department of his news channel,” the victim said in her complaint.
According to the police, the victim, a resident of Delhi, said she got in touch with Chavhanke in 2011 when he offered her a job in the Human Resources Department of Sudarshan News Network.
The victim also alleged that Chavhanke sent her to the ‘ashram’ of Narayan Sai in Karol Bagh, New Delhi, in September, 2013. There Sai attem-pted to rape her, she alleged. The victim further claimed that she was physically and mentally tortured by Chavhanke from 2014 to 2016. He lured her with many future prospects and used her for furthering his business interests. She said, “I just rescued my life from his clutches, he hacked all my gmail, facebook and other accounts. I was betrayed and abused by him all the time. Mr Chavhanke has a habit of luring girls and molesting them. He demanded cash and jewellery worth Rs 27 lakh from me in 2013 in exchange of making me a partner in the news network. After I paid the amount Chavhanke started forcing himself upon me under the pretext of marriage.”
Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Dharmendra Singh said the police have begun probing this matter. “The FIR was lodged two days ago and the police has promptly started the investigation. Future course of action will be decided once more details emerge.”
While Narayan Sai is currently lodged in Surat jail in a previous case, the police are yet to arrest Chavhanke. Anju Tevatia, investigating officer of the case, said, “The police are yet to complete the investigation. The decision to arrest Chavhanke would be taken only after that.”
On the other hand, representatives of Asaram Bapu’s ashram rubbished the allegations made against the godman’s son saying that he is a victim of conspiracy.
“If the incident occurred in 2013, then why did the woman register the complaint now? In 2013, Bapu was already in jail for a case of child sexual abuse, there is no chance that Sai could have attempted such an act,” said Neelam Dubey, ashram spokesperson.
Meanwhile, right-wing groups came out in Chavhanke’s defence, alleging that he is a victim of an ‘international conspiracy’ by ‘jihadists’.
“We have solid proof that the woman who has accused Suresh is under the influence of jihadist elements, but we cannot disclose it to the media,” said Yati Narsinghanand Saraswati, National Convenor, Akhil Bharatiya Sant Parishad.
“Sudarshan news is the only channel that has raised the issue of Love Jihad and Hindu migration. Even other channels have not done as much for Hindus as Sudarshan news has. This is why we believe that an international conspiracy has been hatched by jihadists to defame Suresh and suppress Hindus,” said Saraswati.
“We have registered the FIR and have conducted the medical examination of the victim. After preliminary investigation, we will decide on further course of action,” said Anju Tevatia, officer in charge, Women Police Station.