In a sensational development, a former employee of right-wing leaning Sudarshan News Network has alleged that the the owner and editor-in-chief Suresh Chavhanke had raped and molested her besides indulging in criminal intimidation.
Chavhanke, according to a Hindustan Times report, has now been booked by 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. Narain Sai faces charges of attempt to rape and molestation.
The victim, aged between 35 and 40, had registered an FIR at the Women Police station in Noida Sector 39 on 2 November. She said that Chavhanke had been exploiting her since 2013 promising marriage.
The alleged victim also accused the son of self-proclaimed godman, Narain Sai, son of Asaram Bapu, of attempt to rape and molestation. Sai is currently in Surat jail facing similar charges from other women.
Sai’s ashram has reportedly not commented on the new allegation. Chavhanke, for his part, too has chosen not to comment.
According to the FIR, the alleged victim met Chvhanke first in 2011 when she was offered a job in the human resources department of Sudarshan News.
She said in her complaint, “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 woman also alleged that the alleged rapist had also asked her to pay cash and jewellery worth Rs 27 lakh for a partnership stake in the company.
In September 2013, the victim alleged, Chavhanke had sent her to the ‘ashram’ of Narain Sai in Karol Bagh, New Delhi, where Sai made attempted to rape her.
Chavhanke, for his part, has posted the copy of the FIR complaining of the charges slapped against him. Taking to Twitter, where he posted the copy of the FIR, Chavhanke said, “The number of sections lodged against me is bigger than that of Dawood.”
— Suresh Chavhanke STV (@chavhanke) November 2, 2016
The victim, according to the FIR, has accused her former boss of raping her and attempting to perform unnatural sex with her at his news network office on 20 October this year.
“We have registered the FIR and have conducted the medical examination of the victim. After preliminary investigation, we will decide on when to arrest Chavhanke,” said Anju Tevatia, officer in charge, Women Police Station, was quoted as saying.
Noida’s Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Dharmendra Singh said the police have started investigating the complaint.
“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,” Singh said.
Meanwhile a purported audio of a heated exchange between the woman and Chvhanke has surfaced on social media platform, where the latter is heard threatening her.
The video was posted by Bhadas4media website’s founder Yashwant Singh.