Balesh Dhankhar, who is recognized as one of the founders of the Australia division of 'Overseas Friends of BJP,' is currently facing trial for allegedly drugging and raping five women he met through a "ruse" of employment advertisements.
According to a report by the British Daily Mail, Dhankhar faces 13 charges of rape, six of administering an intoxicating substance with intent to enable himself to rape, 17 of recording intimate videos without consent, and three of indecent assault. The report also said that he has been attempting to “have his name suppressed” in the last four years. He allegedly committed these crimes between January and October 2018.
A report in the Australian paper, The Sydney Morning Herald said that Dhankhar has pleaded not guilty to these charges. The prosecution told the court that he put out ads seeking to hire Korean-English speakers and would often meet the women at Sydney’s Hilton Hotel bar, up the road from his apartment.
He also allegedly used a secret camera lodged in an alarm clock to record himself raping the women at the Hilton hotel. The report by The Sydney Morning Herald noted that jury, earlier this week, “sent a note to Judge Michael King saying they wanted to go home early because of the nature of the videos” that Dhankhar shot.
The Overseas Friends of BJP, Australia is an "official support group of India's governing party BJP in Australia. Working on strengthening ties between India and Australia," according to its Twitter bio. They also tweeted that Dhankhar had resigned from the organisation in 2018 and strongly condemned his actions.
Balesh Dhankar has resigned from OFBJP Australia in July 2018.— OFBJP Australia (@OFBJPAus) March 17, 2023
We strongly condemn his actions and he must face full force of law.
According to a report by The Wire, Dhankhar has spoken at numerous events on behalf of the Hindu Council of Australia – whose stated mission is to work for a strong, cohesive and active Hindu community in Australia – including lectures on interfaith exchanges at the University of Sydney.
Recently, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) also tweeted on Dhankhar’s alleged ties to Modi. "If Australia Police had not arrested him, then PM Modi would have honored him with a big position by calling him to India," they said.
विदेश में भारत को शर्मसार करते मोदी जी का अनमोल रत्न!— AAP (@AamAadmiParty) March 17, 2023
BJP नेता #BaleshDhankar ने Australia में Job दिलाने के बहाने कई लड़कियों का किया बलात्कार!
अगर ऑस्ट्रेलिया Police इसे गिरफ़्तार ना करती तो PM Modi इसे भारत बुला कर अवश्य एक बड़े पद से सम्मानित करते। pic.twitter.com/PtaV4k1OVu