The Wadgaon Road Police registered the offence late on Thursday night against Rathod following a complaint lodged by ZP member Ratna Pratapsingh Ade alleging that the legislator barged into her house along with his 15-20 supporters that morning and thrashed her. She further alleged that Rathod has outraged her and her maid's modesty by tearing her clothes. Ratna is the daughter of former MLA Pratapsingh Ade of Digras tehsil.
Police Station Officer Baijnath Latpattee said, "We have after preliminary inquiry, registered a criminal offence against Sanjay Rathod and 20 others under sections 452, 143, 147, 149, 294, 323 and 506 (B) of Indian Penal Code but no arrests was made so far in this connection."
The 38-year-old ZP sitting member, who is a resident of Mainde Chowk locality in the city has demanded immediate arrest of the MLA and threatened to commit suicide if early action was not initiated against him.
On Friday, a delegation of women called on the superintendent of police Suresh Kumar Mekala in his office and submitted a memorandum demanding the same. The MLA is guilty of a crime punishable under section 354 of IPC and hence he should be arrested immediately after adding the said section," demanded District Congress President Wamanrao Kasawar.
Later while addressing a press conference in the government rest house on Friday, Kasawar declared that a daylong bandh would be observed throughout the district to protest against the incident.
Narrating her experience, Ratna said she represents the zilla parishad circle Kalgaon-Dehni of Digras tehsil. She has obtained funds under the state government's 'Dalit Vasti Sudhar Yojana' implemented through the zilla parishad and had also set the date for Bhoomipujan of the scheme in village
Dehni and asked the contractor to put up a Board stating that the work is being carried out with the ZP member's fund. However, the sitting MLA was opposed to it and wanted to put up his board and subsequently both were clamouring for the credit of the work, which finally ended in the alleged crime.
The SP said they have registered criminal offence against the MLA but said the victim has not mentioned the crime of outraging her modesty in the FIR.
When contacted, Rathod denied the allegations and said it was a cooked up story and intended to gain political mileage. He further said he went to Ratna's house after she made a phone call to him and only two of his personal assistants were with him.
"I went to her house to clear her misunderstanding and there was a hot exchange of words between us," Rathod said, adding that he made no attempt to out rage her modesty.
"A senior Congress leader eying at my constituency was in the town and he has instigated Ratna Ade to rally against me," he alleged.