Andhra Pradesh Minister Ravela Kishore Babu's son and his driver were on Saturday booked for allegedly molesting a 20-year-old woman teacher in Banjara Hills in Hyderabd, the police said.
It is alleged that the AP Social Welfare Minister's son Susheel and his driver M Ramesh followed the victim in their car, passed lewd comments and tried to pull her inside the vehicle on Thursday evening. The woman claimed that she raised an alarm following which her husband, who was nearby, and some locals gathered at the spot and beat up the accused.
After a complaint by the teacher, the police had registered a case related to eveteasing against the car driver though she had on Friday accused both the minister's son and the driver of misbehaving with her. Police today said the accused were later also booked under section 354 of the Indian Penal Code related to molestation following recording of statements.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (West Zone) A Venkateshwera Rao told PTI that the case was registered under sections 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) and 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) of IPC against Susheel and his driver M Ramesh.
While Susheel claimed innocence and alleged that the case was "politically motivated", his father said police probe will reveal the truth and he will "not interfere" in the matter.
The complainant had alleged that a car with an 'member of Legislative Assembly' sticker followed her when she was passing through Road No 13 while on her way to school on Thursday evening.
The driver of the car and another occupant, who were drunk, passed remarks and asked her to come inside the car while one person with a tattoo on his hand tried to pull her inside the vehicle, she alleged.
On Friday, the woman also claimed to have identified the photo of the minister's son as the one who held her hand and tried to pull her inside the car.
"Initially, the woman in her complaint to police named the car driver as Appa Rao, but his name is actually M Ramesh, who was thrashed by the locals along with another occupant (Susheel) and he was in a state of unconsciousness and injured," Rao said.
During course of investigation and after recording statements, the sections have been altered to 354 and 509 of the IPC, the DCP said adding notices have already been served to the duo asking them to appear before police in the next 48 hours.
During the probe, the name of the second occupant of the car was revealed as Susheel, son of AP Minister Ravela Kishore Babu, he said. "We will question him".
The car driver too had lodged a complaint with the police after he and Susheel were "manhandled" by the locals.
"Our police team went to the spot after coming to know that two people were being beaten up by local residents," Rao said adding police will act as per law and proceed accordingly.
There is no political interference, he said. Claiming innocence, Susheel, in a post on a social networking website said he had stopped the car to pick up a puppy on the road and suddenly "without any provocation" the teacher created a scene and they were manhandled.
"The incident is a cruel act by our political opponents and it is politically motivated," Susheel added.
Meanwhile, AP Minister Kishore Ravela, in a statement, said a case has been registered against his son in Banjara Hills police station and Telangana police are investigating the case.
"We will not interfere in the case. We (our family) have utmost respect for law and Constitution. The p investigation will reveal whether any crime took place or not," the minister said.