Japanese woman alleges rape, in India to file complaint 12 years later

NEW DELHI: A 36-year-old Japanese woman who has flown down from Tokyo to Delhi to file a complaint alleging rape and extortion. Twelve years ago, she alleges, she was first raped by the man who had promised to marry her. She landed in the city Wednesday for 72 hours. The cops are yet to file an FIR. It will take time, she has been told.

An engineer in Tokyo, she claims that Praveen Gautam, a Khajuraho-based travel agency owner, made promises that they would settle down in India after marriage and raped her for years. She also alleges that over the last 10 years, he extorted almost Rs. 2 crore from her.

They had first met in 2004 in Tokyo when the man had projected himself as a successful businessman, she said. “We got into a relationship. But in 2005, he asked for money. He said he needed the money as his friend’s wife was in coma. When I hesitated, he told me that Indian women gave all their money to their men. He started demanding money almost regularly,” she said.

She added, “But when I stopped, his behaviour changed and he started threatening me. He even physically assaulted me. I got scared and didn’t report the matter.”

The woman registered an FIR in Madhya Pradesh last year after she met Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan during a business conference in Tokyo 2015. She told him about Mr Gautam and Mr Chouhan helped her file an FIR at Khajuraho in April last year. A case of rape and attempt to murder (for physically assaulting her) was registered. But the accused is out on bail.

She now wants to file a complaint in Delhi as she says that “laws here are stronger than in Japan”. “I want the police to put the case on trial. The cops said it is a 12-year-old complaint,” she said.

Her lawyer, Jai Dehadrai, said that they had written to the Delhi Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik twice in the beginning of this month, but there has been no response. They finally approached SHO of Connaught Place police station and a sub inspector has been appointed to verify circumstantial evidence.

“We admit that there has been a delay. But according to Supreme Court guidelines, a case can still be filed. The insensitivity shown by cops is appalling,” Mr Dehadrai said.

The Delhi police deny allegations of insensitivity. “Since it is a very old case we need to verify facts and consult our legal experts,” said BK Singh, DCP (New Delhi).

Mr Gautam’s lawyer, however, said, “Why has she come to file a case after more than 10 years? The allegations are false.”