Gender

Congress Leader in Maharashtra Booked for Rape, Criminal Intimidation

The complainant has alleged that Rohit Tilak, a National Youth Congress leader, had sex with her after promising marriage and beat her when she tried to make him live up to that promise.

Rohit Tilak. Credit: Youtube

Rohit Tilak. Credit: Youtube

Pune: Rohit Tilak, the great grandson of freedom fighter Bal Gangadhar Tilak and coordinator of the National Youth Congress, has been booked on charges of rape and ‘unnatural sex’. A woman has lodged an FIR against Rohit at a Pune police station for allegedly raping her on multiple occasions and forcing her to perform unnatural sex.

According to the FIR filed by the complainant, Rohit had sex with her multiple times under the pretext of marriage.

The complainant has said that she met Rohit in March 2015 at a social programme. Later, he sent her a friend request on Facebook and they started talking online before meeting in person. According to her, he never told her that he was married and has a son; instead, she said, Rohit told her he loves her and wants to marry her.

After promising marriage, the complainant has alleged, Rohit had sex with her multiple times, including, she said. forcing her to do things she did not want to do. They met at his office, his home, her home, hotels in Pune and Mumbai, and friends’ houses, she said. She also alleged that she was pregnant with Rohit’s child and aborted the foetus.

According to the FIR, whenever she asked about marriage, Rohit physically abused her. When she said would complain to the police, she said, he would calm down and dissuade her. He even gave her a mangalsutra, she said, claiming that they were married, so that she would continue to have sex with him.

The last time she asked about marriage, the complainant said, he beat her badly. Since he had now allegedly hit her multiple times, she decided to file police complaint. According to her, she had to start seeing a psychiatrist because of the ‘mental harassment’ from Rohit.

The complainant also accused Rohit of being an alcoholic, saying he would sexually assault her and beat her while drunk. He even threatened to kill her if she went to the police, she said.

The complainant also has a video clip of a conversation with Praniti Tilak, Rohit’s wife, about how her husband allegedly fooled women into having sex with him by making fake promises. This and the other evidence she has, she said, will be submitted to the police.

Pune deputy commissioner of police Basavraj Teli told The Wire: “A female officer is investigating the charges of rape and unnatural sex, which allegedly happened between March 2015 and July 2017. We are gathering proof and later we will take action if required.”

Meanwhile, a police inspector who was investigating the matter has asked to be removed from the case, allegedly due to pressure from unknown people. The Pune police are going to appoint another female officer to investigate the case.

Rohit has been booked under IPC Section 376 for rape, Section 377 for unnatural offences, Section 323 for voluntarily causing hurt, Section 504 for intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace, Section 506 for intimidation and Section 507 for criminal intimidation by anonymous communication.

The complainant had organised a protest outside Rohit’s house two weeks ago and applied for police permission as well, but she later cancelled the protest. She had also organised a press conference at Pune Patrakar Bhavan last week, but cancelled that too. According to sources, she cancelled both events under pressure.

Rohit was unavailable for comment and his mobile was unreachable on Tuesday (July 18). Close associates of the Tilak family, on the condition of anonymity, said that the family’s lawyer had asked them not to talk to anybody until the course of the action had been decided. Nobody from the family has given any comments to the media.

Rohit is a former president of the Maharashtra Youth Congress. He twice contested the assembly elections from the Kasba Peth constituency in Pune, losing both times. He is the grandson of the late Jayantroa Tilak, a senior Congress leader, MP and chairman of the Maharashtra legislative council. His father, Dipak Tilak, is vice chancellor of the Tilak Maharashtra Vidyapith. He is also the nephew of the current Pune mayor Mukta Tilak.