Sacked Delhi women's minister arrested over rape charge

NEW DELHI • The Indian capital's former women's minister, who was sacked over a "sex tape", has been arrested following a claim by a woman shown in the tape that he raped her, an investigator said yesterday.

Sandeep Kumar was arrested on Saturday, days after he was dismissed as minister for women and child development in the region covering Delhi. The video leaked to television channels showed Kumar kissing two women.

"He was arrested on a complaint filed by one of the women seen in the video. She has alleged Kumar raped her. The investigations have just started," said Delhi deputy police commissioner Vikramjit Singh.

The married woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said in her complaint to police that Kumar spiked her drink with sedatives before sexually assaulting her last year at his residence, said Mr Singh.

She alleged that Kumar had promised her a job and help in securing a government benefits card.

Mr Singh said the second woman seen in the video has yet to be identified and efforts are being made to contact her for her testimony.

The nine-minute video was sent late on Wednesday to a local news channel and to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who immediately sacked Kumar from his Cabinet.

Only snippets of the video were aired on the channel. They showed Kumar on a bed wearing only shorts and kissing one of the women. A set of photographs allegedly shows him kissing another woman.

Local media reports say portions of the video show Kumar having sex with one of the women.

Kumar, a married father of one, has denied the allegations. He says the tape was fabricated and part of a political conspiracy to tar his image.

Mr Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party routed Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party in last year's elections in the capital, but it has been hit by a series of controversies involving its legislators.

Thirteen of them have been charged with various crimes, including rape, attempted murder and corruption, since the elections in February last year.

A former minister was arrested last year for allegedly faking his law degree, and another was held on corruption charges.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 05, 2016, with the headline 'Sacked Delhi women's minister arrested over rape charge'. Print Edition | Subscribe