Varanasi (The Hawk): Atul Rai, a Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MP from Mau who was imprisoned along with 15 other suspects in a case involving a fatal attack on a police squad in the city in 2011, were cleared by the MP/MLA Court of Varanasi.
At the moment, Rai is being held in Prayagraj's Naini jail.
Even though he was recently exonerated in rape and other instances, he remains in jail since two cases are still pending in other courts.
Anuj Yadav, Rai's attorney, said: "In a case filed in August 2011 by Sunil Verma, the station officer of Varanasi's Cantonment police station at the time, Atul Rai and 19 other people were charged. Rai was charged with planning an assault on the police force. Three accused people's files had been divided up, while one accused person's file had been closed upon his passing. Following the conclusion of the trial against 16, including Rai, special judge Siyaram Chaurasia of the MP-MLA court declared them not guilty for a lack of evidence."
The court further ordered that the Principal Secretary (Home) send its directive to the Investigation Officer Gayasuddin, who was retired from service, to start departmental action against him for including the names of Rai and two other people who were accused in the case without any supporting evidence.
According to the incident's circumstances, Verma and his crew were on patrol on August 27, 2011, when they spotted several armed individuals travelling on three motorbikes and a jeep along the Soyepur-Bhaktnagar-Kali Mandir Road.
When the police attempted to stop them, the armed criminals started shooting at the officers. In the aftermath of a gunfight, police apprehended seven criminals, including Bachcha Yadav, Shishu Shiv Kumar, Shyam Prasad Soni, Deepak Singh, Vikas Singh, Rajnish Singh, and Randhir Kumar Singh, and found six handguns, revolvers, and live ammunition on them.
Names of criminals like Rai, Abhishek alias Honey, Jhunna Pandit, Sujit Belva, Ajay, and others were later included as the inquiry advanced.
Earlier, on August 5, Rai had been declared innocent in a rape case by the court of special judge (MP-MLA) Siyaram Chaurasia. In August 2021, the girl and the key witness both committed suicide in New Delhi, close to the Supreme Court (SC).
According to police records, Rai was arrested under the Gangster Act three times between 2009 and 2011, and once more in October 2021. He had a criminal history sheet with 21 criminal offences.
After being cleared in the rape case, Rai was placed in judicial remand on September 14, 2022, by the court of Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate (MP-MLA) in a case of aiding suicide.
After the girl who had filed a rape complaint against Rai committed suicide close to the SC grounds, he was included as a co-accused in the case brought against former Bhelupur Circle Officer Amaresh Baghel.
On April 26, 2019, a girl reported Rai to the Lanka police in Varanasi, alleging that he repeatedly sexually assaulted her and threatened to post a video of the incident online. This got Rai into problems.
When this case was filed, Rai was running for the Ghosi seat in the 2019 Lok Sabha election on the BSP ticket. He was a "absconding" candidate who won the election but then turned himself up to a Varanasi court. He has been detained in Prayagraj's Naini jail since June 22, 2019.
(Inputs from Agencies)