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IIT-BHU Gangrape: Three People Arrested, Two Allegedly From BJP IT Cell

The two IT cell members have been identified as Kunal Pandey and Saksham Patel.
The two IT cell members have been identified as Kunal Pandey and Saksham Patel.

At least two of the three people arrested in the gangrape of a 20-year-old IIT-BHU student have allegedly been identified as members of the BJP's IT cell in Varanasi. 

As per The Times of India report, these three were arrested on Saturday by the police and have confessed to the crime. The two IT cell members have been identified as Kunal Pandey and Saksham Patel. 

Patel, who comes from Bajardiha, and Pandey, who hails from the Brij Enclave Colony of Sunderpur, have been reported "as holding positions in the BJP's IT cell, with the former serving as the convenor of the city unit and Patel as its co-convenor." The third accused has been identified as Anand. 

Talking to the media, Kashi Deputy Commissioner of Police (DC) RS Gautam said that the three men arrested in the case could "face charges under the National Security Act and the UP Gangsters and Anti-Social Activities (Prevention) Act." 

The police have also reportedly seized mobile phones and a motorbike that were used to commit the crime. 

The alleged incident took place on November 1. The victim, a student of IIT-BHU, filed a complaint in the matter on November 2. Acting on her complaint, the police registered an FIR under various sections of IPC. 

As per the victim, "she was on a walk outside her hostel with a friend from the same institute on November 1. They were confronted by the accused, who were on a motorbike, near the Karmanbir Baba temple on campus." Following that, the accused person forcibly separated the victim from her friend, dragged her behind the bushes, and assaulted her. 

The IIT-BHU campus saw massive protests after the incident came to light. Thousands of students protested, demanding swift police action and better security measures. During the protests, there were scuffles between ABVP and other student organisations. 

As per Mohammed Zubair, the two BJP IT Cell members arrested in the case were active on social media till the day before the Kashi police arrested them. However, their accounts were deleted soon after their arrest. Moreover, pictures showing Patel and Pandey with prominent BJP leaders have surfaced on social media since their arrest. 

Opposition parties in UP have called out BJP in the matter. UP Congress chief Ajay Rai said that his party workers would gherao the constituency office of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to protest "the alleged involvement of the BJP's local leaders in the gangrape of BHU student." 

"Women and children are being raped in Varanasi, the parliamentary constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. To tell the general public how incidents like rape are being carried out under their patronage, our Banaras district and city unit will gherao the prime minister's office on Tuesday," Rai said

Rai further alleged that the accused persons were sent to the Madhya Pradesh Assembly elections to avoid being arrested in the BHU case. 

"Had they been arrested before the elections, the message would have gone to the entire country that these three BJP officials are rapists," Rai alleged. 

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