Senior Congress leader Bikram Singh Brahma was on Thursday booked on the charge of raping a married woman at her house in a village close to the Bhutan border in Chirang district.

Brahma is the ruling party’s Chief Coordinator in Bodoland Territorial Area District (BTAD).

“A rape has been committed and the accused has been arrested on rape charge,” Inspector-General of Police (BTAD) G.P. Singh told The Hindu. The victim’s husband had lodged an FIR with the police.

When the woman raised an alarm late on Wednesday night, villagers caught the Congress leader and thrashed him publicly before handing him over to the police. They also damaged a luxury vehicle of Brahma.

Brahma, 54, a member of the Assam Pradesh Congress Committee, contested the 2011 Assembly polls from Chapaguri.

PCC Media Cell chief convener Haren Das told journalists that law would take its course and if Brahma was found guilty, the party would take action against him.

The incident triggered widespread condemnation and protests across Assam. In Guwahati, a group of protesters staged a sit-in near Dighalipukhuri, demanding exemplary punishment for the accused. The Asom Gana Parishad and the BJP demanded stringent punishment for Brahma.