The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Rape battle ends in marriage
- Former Assam minister weds accuser, names son High Court

Guwahati, Aug. 30: Former Assam minister Rajendra Mushahary has accepted Monila Brahma as his “wife”, 18 months after the teenaged girl gave birth to a child and accused him of rape and impregnation.

The former AGP minister solemnised his wedding with Monila before the marriage officer, Kamrup, under the Special Marriage Act on June 19. Mushahary categorically said: “I am the father of Monila’s child.”

The DNA test that Mushahary took to clear his name last year, had confirmed that he was the father of the child born to Monila on October 23, 2000, at the Kokrajhar civil hospital.

Mushahary, a widower, finally appeared to be a happy family man. He said: “After our marriage, we have renamed our son ‘High Court’. All that happened in the court has finally culminated in myself, Monila and High Court becoming one happy family.”

Now in his mid-forties, Mushahary was minister of state for the welfare of plain tribes and backward classes in the Prafulla Kumar Mahanta government. He was a powerful Asom Gana Parishad functionary till Monila levelled the rape charge and the party was forced to suspend him.

Mushahary said he would have to wait for some more time before he gets a “clean chit” from the court.

“I appeared in the chief judicial magistrate’s court in Kokrajhar on Tuesday and since the case will be referred to the sessions court, I am waiting for its summons,” he said. When the case comes up for hearing, Monila will “take back” her charge.

After being released on bail, Mushahary had moved to a nondescript location where he was tracked down by The Telegraph today. Monila came to Mushahary’s residence on June 5 and they were married on June 19.

Maintaining that he was “done in” by his political adversaries, Mushahary claimed he had decided to tie the knot with Monila soon after the 2001 May Assembly elections. “Unfortunately, my brothers-in-law jumped the gun in order to derive some benefits by framing me in a false case,” Mushahary claimed.

Mushahary said he harboured no ill will towards those who engineered the smear campaign, which resulted in his suspension.

“The All-Bodo Students’ Union and the All-Bodo Women’s Welfare Federation merely acted upon the feedback that they were provided by Monila’s family. I do not blame them at all. I am happy now and intend to bring up my son well. I will also make sure that he gets a good education,” he said.

The case had also drawn the attention of the National Human Rights Commission that rapped former chief minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta for allowing the rape accused to continue as a minister.

When Monila claimed that she was carrying Mushahary’s child as a sequel to multiple incidents of rape, she was asked to undergo medical tests. Subsequent confirmation of the supposed victim’s pregnancy failed to perturb Mushahary, who threw an open challenge to all and sundry to prove him guilty.

According to the FIR lodged by Monila’s mother, Mushahary raped the girl on two occasions, once in February 27, 2000 and again a month later.

The girl’s statement was recorded by a magistrate, a day after her mother lodged the FIR at the Kokrajhar police station.

The DNA report had said “Rajendra Mushahary is the biological father of the disputed child Pabitra (now named High Court).”

The DNA test report was despatched to the forensic science laboratory here in June last year and forwarded to the Kokrajhar police, which was handling the case. The DNA profiling was carried out under chief scientist at the CDFD, G.V. Rao.

Samples for the DNA test were collected on June 7, 2001 from the alleged rape victim, the child and Mushahary after months of legal wrangling and claims and counter-claims.

The police had to seek the court’s permission to go in for the DNA test as the investigation had come to a “dead end” despite claims by Gossaigaon police of having gathered “enough circumstantial evidence”.

The rape charge is also said to have played a role in Mushahary’s defeat in the last Assembly elections.

According to the victim’s claims she was raped first on February 27, 2000 and then again in March that year at a hotel in Warisa on the Assam-Bengal border. However, an FIR was lodged against the minister at the Gossaigaon police station only on September 4, six months after the “crime” was committed.

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