In a U-turn, the Mumbai-based woman, who had accused Maharashtra Social Justice Minister Dhananjay Munde of rape, has taken back her police complaint. Political observers feel that the woman, Renu Sharma might have withdrawn the case following tremendous political pressure from the ruling alliance. It was said that the woman told the investigating officer that she is withdrawn the complaint against the Maharashtra minister Munde, but did not mention any reason. The Mumbai police, however, asked the complainant to submit a notarized affidavit in this regard.
Earlier, amid the serious ‘rape charges’ by a woman against the Maharashtra social justice minister Munde, the NCP supremo Sharad Pawar had demanded an ACP-level woman officer to probe into the issue. However, Pawar later changed his statement in this regard and ruled out any action against Munde till the charges were proved.
The woman accused Munde of ‘sexually abusing’ her since 2006. Munde has refuted the rape charges accusing the woman of ‘blackmail’, while admitting to having a relationship with the victim’s sister, with whom he has two children, one son and a daughter.
On January 11, the woman had filed a complaint before the Mumbai Police against Munde, accusing him of rape and sexual assault on the pretext of marriage in 2006. An inquiry was initiated by the police.
As the news surfaced, the opposition BJP sought Munde’s resignation from the Cabinet. Also, former BJP MP Kirit Somaiya wrote a letter to the Election Commission seeking action against Munde for allegedly hiding information about “his second wife and his two more children,” in the affidavit submitted at the time of the 2019 Maharashtra Assembly Elections.
On January 12, the woman took to social media and claimed that Munde — who reportedly married her sister in 1998 — first raped her in 2006 and then repeated the act multiple times over the years. Dhananjay Munde, a nephew of late BJP leader Gopinath Munde, had quit the BJP in 2013 and joined the NCP.
In view of the whole drama— first accusations against Munde by Renu Sharma and later counter-allegations by Munde and subsequently withdrawal of the complaint– there is a need for a comprehensive investigation. Will government come out with a statement that it would enquire the whole matter through a senior police official?