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Former minister arrested for rape

Guwahati, Jan. 9: Accused of raping a 12-year-old girl, former Assam minister Rajendra Mushahary today landed in jail after police finally traced him to his residence in Gossaigaon town of Kokrajhar district.

The Bodo politician, suspended from the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) in the wake of a previous rape allegation against him, had been evading the police ever since the parents of a domestic help filed an FIR accusing him of forcing himself on their daughter in November.

Gossaigaon subdivisional police officer S.R. Mili said over phone that Mushahary was brought to the police station from his Gossaigaon residence this morning and formally taken into custody after a 'brief interrogation'.

The former minister was produced before the chief judicial magistrate of Kokrajhar, who remanded him in judicial custody for 14 days.

Mushahary's arrest comes five days after the police registered a rape case against him.

Now in his late forties, Mushahary was the minister of state for welfare of plain tribes and backward classes in the erstwhile Prafulla Kumar Mahanta government.

He was a top AGP functionary till a girl named Monila Brahma accused him of raping her. The party promptly placed him under suspension.

Mushahary married Monila after a DNA test confirmed that he was the father of the son born to her. However, he denied raping her.

The former minister has been maintaining he is innocent this time, too.

Contacted on his cellphone last evening, the politician said he had had a discussion with his lawyer to decide whether there was any need to apply for anticipatory bail. 'We will decide on our next course of action on Monday,' he said.

The alleged rape victim's statement has already been recorded by the chief judicial magistrate in Kokrajhar.

The victim claims she was raped three times by the former minister and beaten up, too.

In an entirely different version, Mushahary said one of his daughters (by his first wife) had an altercation with the maid on December 24, after which she went home.

The All Bodo Women's Welfare Federation has called for a 'social boycott' of the former minister.

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