Laxman Mane, a runaway former lawmaker and Marathi writer accused by six women, including three married women, of rape, surrendered to police yesterday evening. “Mane surrendered in Satara rural police station. He has been arrested,” said KM Prasanna, SP of Satara.
A fortnight ago, rape cases were registered against Mane after women working in an Ashram school complained to the police. The school was being run by Mane in Jakatwadi village in Satara district. Among the complainants are helpers, peons and cooks who were working in his school. Mane (63), a former MLC, will be presented before a court for remand, Prasanna said. Mane was honoured with a Padma Shri four years ago and the prestigious Sahitya Akademi award for his autobiography Upara in 1981.
Police said that initially three married women aged between 30 and 35 alleged that the writer raped them on the pretext of making them permanent employees of his school, but later went back on his word. The trio had claimed that Mane raped them between 2003 and 2010 in the school, at his home in Satara, and at a guest house in Pune. As the case got wide publicity, three more women came forward and registered complaints against him in the past few days. After booking Mane for rape, police visited his home and other places in Pune and Mumbai, but he remained untraceable till he surrendered. Mane’s family has denied the allegations and said that he was being framed.