IIT-BHU gangrape: 3 accused arrested, at least 2 associated with BJP IT cell of Varanasi

Previous posts of accused with PM Modi, Minister Smriti Irani and BJP president JP Nadda go viral, opposition slams BJP for protecting rapists, mainstream media maintains mum
Image: Facebook

Two months after a case of alleged gang rape and sexual violence of a 20-year-old student was reported from the campus of Indian Institute of Technology- Banaras Hindu University (IIT-BHU), the police have arrested three men. As per a report of the Indian Express, the three men arrested in connection with the case have been identified as Saksham Patel (aged 20) who has studied till class 10, Kunal Pandey (aged 28), who has studied till B. Com graduation course and run a shop, and Abhishek Chauhan (aged 22), who failed his class 10 examination and worked at a saree shop. As per multiple media reports, all of the three accused are residents of Varanasi.

It is crucial to highlight here that at least two of the three men arrested are associated with the Bharatiya Janata Party’s IT cell in Varanasi. As per the details available on the social media profiles of the two accused, Kunal Pandey was a coordinator for the BJP IT cell’s Varanasi unit while Saksham Patel was a co-coordinator. As per a report of the Quint, an anonymous Varanasi BJP leader also provided that Pandey is the son-in-law of a local BJP councillor. As per the report of the IE, a senior office-bearer of the BJP media team for Kashi zone confirmed that Patel was a co-coordinator of the BJP IT cell, Varanasi unit, while Pandey was a coordinator for BJP IT cell Varanasi unit. The officer also provided that the two are not part of the new team that was formed after Diwali. Notably, the FIR (First Information Report) in the present case had been filed prior to the festival of Diwali.

The said incident, which had caused a massive uproar in the campus and had resulted in protests being organised demanding justice and a safer campus for women, had taken place in the beginning of November 2023. According to the complaint lodged by the victim on November 2, she was out with a friend on the IIT-BHU campus on the night of November 1 when the incident took place. The duo was near the Karman Baba temple when three men came there on a motorcycle and forcibly took her to a corner and gagged her after separating her from her friend. The three accused then stripped the victim, made a video of her and clicked photos. As per her complaint, she was let go after 15 minutes. The three accused took her phone number, the complaint stated. Based on the complaint, a FIR had been lodged. Later, on November 8, the survivor had recorded her statement before the magistrate and the police investigating officer, which resulted in charges pertaining to gang rape being added to the case.  The survivor had also alleged that the incident had been carried out at gunpoint. 

Arrest of the three accused, confession followed:

The report of the Quint provided that a Varanasi police official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, shed light on the way the three accused were identified and nabbed by the police. As per the report, the movements of the three accused were being traced with the help of an informer, which ultimately led to their arrest. It had been previously provided that the faces of the trio were unclear in the CCTV footage accessed by the police, since the incident took place in the night.

The police said the three were arrested on the night of December 30, 2023. As provided by the report of the IE, Varanasi DCP (Kashi zone) Ram Sevak Gautam provided that the three arrested accused have confessed to the crime. DCP Gautam further stated that mobile phones have been recovered from the accused as well as the motorcycle they used in the crime. It has further neem asserted by DCP Gautam that The Uttar Pradesh Gangsters and Anti-Social Activities (Prevention) Act, 1986 will also be invoked by the police in this case. As per multiple media reports, the three accused were sent to judicial custody for 14 days by a local court on the evening of December 31, 2023.

Opposition, social media users slam the BJP and the silence of mainstream media

As soon as the news of the arrest surfaced and the previous posts of the accused went viral establishing their links with the current ruling BJP party, the opposition parties started slamming them. In a video, Supriya Shrinate showed the pictures of the three accused with top leaders of the BJP, namely PM Narendra Modi, Union Minister of Women and Child Development Smriti Irani and President of BJP, JP Nadda. She further accused the party of protecting and promoting rapists, attacking them for keeping a calculative silence over the matter.

The video can be viewed here:


Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav also took to ‘X’ (formerly Twitter) to criticise BJP, stating that the three arrested were part of a new crop of BJP workers thriving under the patronage of senior leaders. Yadav also alleged that the Uttar Pradesh government had been forced to arrest the men because of the solid evidence in the case and the growing public anger.

In his post, Yadav had written “Every woman across the country is seeing how the BJP is playing with women’s dignity and protecting those accused of atrocities, harassment and rape.”

The post can be viewed here:

Indian National Congress’ Uttar Pradesh chief Ajay Rai also attacked BJP by posting on social media that “This is the evil face of BJP. Shameful.” In his post on X, Rai stated “For the BJP, ‘Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao’ is just a slogan. I had said at that time that BJP people are involved in this matter.”

The post can be viewed here:

In addition to this, Mohammed Zubair, fact-checker and co-founder of Alt News, severely criticised the main stream media from not reporting the news of the three accused arrested being linked to the ruling BJP party.

The post can be viewed here:

The post can be viewed here:

Many other social media users have alleged that the police took a period of 60 days to arrest the accused since they were associated with the ruling party.

The post can be viewed here:



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