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Monday, December 6, 2021
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Wife of ‘Dawood aide’ claims husband forced her into sex work, names Hardik Pandya, Rajeev Shukla

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Suspected gangster and alleged Dawood Ibrahim aide Riyaz Bhati has been accused by wife Rehnuma Bhati of forcing her to have sex with his business associates and other “high-profile” people. Among the people she has accused of rape in an application to Mumbai Police are cricketers Munaf Patel and Hardik Pandya, Congress leader Rajeev Shukla, and one Prithviraj Kothari, besides Bhati. 

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In her application dated 24 September 2021, Rehnuma has not given any addresses for Pandya, Patel, Shukla and Kothari, or mentioned specific dates or places where the alleged incidents happened. 

While she has identified Pandya and Patel as cricketers, she has described Shukla as former chairman of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). Her application doesn’t mention any description for Kothari, but Rehnuma told ThePrint that she was referring to the bullion entrepreneur. 

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“I have been trying to get police to register an FIR, but they aren’t complying. My application was submitted in September, it is already November now,” she said. “I have followed up with various levels of police authorities multiple times. I was told to give some money, but why should I spread corruption? I am right in my place. They are the ones who are criminals.”

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Reached for comment, Deputy Commissioner of Police for the jurisdiction, Manjunath Singhe, acknowledged that an application has been submitted, but said he “does not have any more details at the moment”.  

An officer at the Santacruz Police station, where the application has been submitted, added on the condition of anonymity: “We cannot disclose any more details. We are still in the process of inquiry.” 

ThePrint reached Shukla on his mobile number, but his secretary answered the phone and said he “is out of the country”.

Patel did not respond to calls and a text message sent to his number. ThePrint reached Pandya through his manager, but calls to the latter’s number went unanswered. 

Kothari said he “doesn’t know anything about this matter, and would not like to comment further”.

Bhati has a long criminal record, and faces cases of alleged extortion, forgery and land-grabbing. He has also been named in the extortion FIR against former Mumbai Police chief Param Bir Singh. Bhati is accused of extorting money from bar and restaurant owners at the behest of the IPS officer and dismissed policeman Sachin Waze. 

In her application, Bhati’s wife has accused him of marital rape. She has also accused him of forcing her to have sexual relations with his friends, business associates, and other high-profile people. She has alleged that he would threaten to kill their two children if she refused. 

Bhati, the application states, forced his wife to have physical relations with Kothari in 2011-2012, with Patel in 2014-15, and Pandya and two of his friends “thereafter”. She claims Pandya and his friends “committed unnatural sexual activities under the influence of alcohol and drugs”.

The complaint says Bhati’s wife was also allegedly raped by Shukla, a former Union minister. Rehnuma says she found out later that Shukla was also connected with Indian cricket. The complaint says she was beaten and forced to dance naked before Shukla when she refused to give her consent. 

Rehnuma has claimed that Bhati has photos and videos of her, which he had threatened to leak on social media if she did not comply with his requests. 

“I say that since the aforesaid opponent (Bhati) is absconding in an FIR and since his bail application has been rejected he is having a short of funds and he is not giving me a single penny on the contrary he is forcing me and giving me address to go and have sexual relationship so that he can generate money (sic)…” Rehnuma has said in her application. 

She has said she fears Bhati might kill her or abduct her sons, adding that he has forced her to have sexual relations with 15-20 people. 

“The aforesaid opponent has indulged me into the field of prostitution for more than 15 years. I say that if no action are going to be taken against him his lust for indulging me into the field of prostitution will not end,” she added. 

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