CHANDIGARH: After remaining underground for three days, Punjab’s rape accused former Shiromani Akali Dal Minister Sucha Singh Langah dramatically surrendered before the District and Sessions Court here on Monday.
Langah, who was booked on Friday at Gurdaspur on the complaint of a woman constable of the Punjab Police, chose to surrender in the court in Chandigarh instead of Gurdaspur.
The victim claimed that she had been sexually exploited and raped by Langah since 2009 under the threat of death. The woman, a widow, said that she was a classmate of Langah’s daughter in college.
The former Minister was accompanied by his lawyer and some associates when he arrived at the court complex here to surrender. Since the complex was closed due to Monday being a national holiday on account of Gandhi Jayanti, the surrender was done before the Duty Magistrate.
Langah had remained underground since Friday and failed to surrender in Gurdaspur or Pathankot as promised. The police had conducted raids at various places in Punjab to arrest him.
The former Minister was booked under Sections 376 (rape), 384 (extortion), 420 (cheating) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code at the Gurdaspur City police station.
Langah, who was a Shiromani Akali Dal core committee member and President of the Gurdaspur district unit of the party, on Friday announced his resignation from all party posts and from the membership of Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee as well.
“I have full faith in the judiciary. Therefore, I am submitting to the process of law by surrendering in the court tomorrow (Saturday). I have firm belief that truth will come out and justice will be done to me,” he said on Friday.
SAD President Sukhbir Singh Badal, who accepted the resignation immediately, had said Langah had done so (resigned) to “submit himself to the process of law”.
Langah termed the case “political vendetta” and “premeditated” just before the Gurdaspur Lok Sabha seat bypoll on October 11.
The SAD and alliance partner Bharatiya Janata Party leadership have defended Langah in the matter saying that the case was motivated by the Congress government in Punjab before the crucial bypoll.
The Congress has rubbished the charges of vendetta in the rape case.