MUMBAI – A Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader in Maharashtra was arrested on Tuesday after he was filmed kissing a woman on a moving public bus.
Ravindra Bawanthade, 48, has been arrested on charges of rape. The woman seen in footage from a CCTV camera says he forced himself on her on June 27 on a bus from Gadhchiroli to Nagpur. “Her complaint was filed after the video was circulated on social media, allegedly by the bus staff”, NDTV reported.
“The accused works as a teacher in a school. It is clear and has been established that it was indeed him in the video that went viral. We have got his police custody until tomorrow,” a police officer in charge of the investigation told NDTV.
Bawanthade was also the party in-charge of Armori assembly constituency in the district during the 2014 state elections.
Reports said the incident happened when Bawanthade was returning from Nagpur to Gadchiroli in the bus along with the woman a few days ago. The footage from the close circuit television camera installed in the bus shows the leader kissing and forcing himself upon her in the presence of other passengers.
Senior BJP leader and Gadchiroli Lok Sabha member Ashok Nete, however, claimed Bawanthade is no longer an office-bearer of the party.