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UP: Police say ex-BJP leader arrested on charges of child sex abuse operated betting racket too

Expelled BJP functionary Ram Bihari Rathore, arrested last week on charges of child sex abuse, had been involved in various criminal and anti-social activities for the past six-seven years, a senior police official said on Monday.

According to the police, Rathore also operated a betting racket from his house in Konch police area of Jalaun district in Uttar Pradesh.

Investigators are collecting evidence against him and may summon police personnel who had been posted in the area in the past few years to gather more information.

Konch police station SHO Imran Khan said all aspects are being looked into and necessary evidence are being collected so as to invoke the stringent National Security Act (NSA) against Rathore.

Under the NSA, a person can be detained without charge for up to 12 months if authorities are satisfied that he or she is a threat to national security or law and order.

Three cases have been registered against Rathore so far. The 65-year-old leader was arrested on January 13 on the complaint of two minor children who accused him of sexually exploiting them.

Another minor boy lodged a complaint alleging that he was being sexually assaulted by Rathore since 2014. On the basis of the complaint, another FIR was lodged against Rathore on Friday evening. A day after, the third FIR was lodged on the complaint of another minor boy.

Some other boys have also come forward alleging that they were sexually assaulted by the accused.

Earlier, the police had found 15 to 20 videos on Rathore’s laptop, DVD and hard disc in which he is seen sexually exploiting children. Nine more victims — seven minors and two women — were identified on the basis of these videos.

The SHO had earlier said Rathore would lure young children by giving them money and made their obscene videos which he used to blackmail them.

Meanwhile, district BJP president Ramendra Singh said the party was trying to ascertain how Rathore was appointed as the Konch unit vice president.

Rathore was expelled from the primary membership of the party soon after his arrest, Ramendra Singh said.

Now the senior leadership is trying to ascertain why or on whose recommendation he was appointed as the vice president of the Konch unit, he said.

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