BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar, who is accused of raping a 17-year-old girl in Uttar Pradesh’s Unnao district, was on Saturday sent to seven-day police custody. Earlier in the day, the four-time lawmaker was produced before a Lucknow court, a day after he was arrested by the CBI. He remained defiant in claiming his innocence and said he had ‘faith in the judiciary’.
The CBI also made a second arrest in the case as it took into custody Shashi Singh, the woman who allegedly took the victim to BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar on the day of crime.
The victim, on the other hand, expressed confidence of getting justice following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s assurance that the country’s “daughters” would “definitely get justice”. She was taken to the CBI zonal headquarters for questioning and later to Ram Manohar Lohia hospital in the city for medical examination
WHAT IS THE UNNAO RAPE CASE ?
The case came to light last Sunday when the victim and her family tried to immolate herself outside Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s residence, alleging police inaction against the accused. The family alleged that the woman was raped by the MLA and his accomplices last year. The kin added that the family was thrashed after a complaint was filed with the police in this regard.
“I was raped. I have been running pillar to post for the last one year but no one is listening to me. I want to see all of them arrested, otherwise I will kill myself,” the victim said. She added, “I had even approached the CM to no result. When we lodged an FIR, we were threatened.”
The case worsened when the victim’s father died in judicial custody a day later.
Here is how the case progressed thereafter:
BJP MLA’s BROTHER ARRESTED
The MLA’s brother, Atul Singh Sengar, was arrested along with four others, by the UP Crime Branch, for allegedly thrashing the victim’s father. According to Unnao district jail superintendent A K Singh, the father was sent to jail on April 4 in connection with an Arms Act case, with some marks on his back, suggesting that he was beaten up by sticks. “On April 5, he complained of stomach ache and vomiting. We called the district hospital physician who came to the jail on April 6 and gave him medicines. They also asked us to conduct his blood, urine and ultrasound tests, for which we again took him to the district hospital on April 7. Since the physician did not find anything serious, he was brought back to the jail the same evening,” Singh said.
“The next evening (April 8), he again complained of abdominal pain and vomiting. His blood pressure too was very low, so the jail doctor asked us to take him to the district hospital. He was admitted there but passed away hours later,” he added.
Atul was charged under Section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), Sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace) of the Indian Penal Code.
The victim was made to appear before Rajiv Krishan, Additional Director General of Police, Lucknow, who ordered a probe by the Lucknow police. Later, a special investigation team was formed to probe the alleged rape case as well as the custodial death of the father.
NHRC NOTICE TO YOGI ADITYANATH GOVERNMENT
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) issued a notice to the Uttar Pradesh government and the state police chief, seeking a detailed report on the death of the father, and directed authorities to ensure “the aggrieved family is not subjected to further harassment”. The commission observed that the allegations, if true, raised a serious issue of violation of human rights of the victim family.
It also issued notices to the chief secretary and the director general of police of Uttar Pradesh, seeking a detailed report, including action taken against the “delinquent police officials”, who allegedly refused to register an FIR.
SC AGREES TO HEAR PLEA FOR CBI PROBE
Based on a petition filed by advocate Manohar Lal Sharma, the Supreme Court agreed to hear the plea for a CBI probe into both the cases. Meanwhile, in more trouble for the BJP legislator, the Allahabad High Court took suo-moto cognizance of the rape case and appointed an amicus curiae in the case.
VICTIM APPEALS TO CM FOR JUSTICE
While alleging that the district magistrate had confined them to a room in a government guest house, the victim appealed to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to provide her justice. “I appeal to CM Yogi Adityanath to provide me justice. The DM has confined me to a hotel room, they are not even serving me water. I just want the culprit to be punished,” ANI had quoted her as saying.
Fearing trouble, the girl’s mother refused to return to Makhi village till the situation normalised. “The MLA and his associates must be planning something. No one in the village will dare support us. No one will raise voice against the MLA and his family. They hold all administrative posts in the village,” she had told Indian Express.
However, Lucknow ADG Rajeev Krishna said the family would be provided full security.
ACCUSED’S WIFE THREATENS SUICIDE
Sangeeta Singh Sengar, the wife of accused BJP MLA Kuldeep Sengar, met Director General of Police (DGP) OP Singh and demanded a narco test on her husband to prove his innocence. While threatening to commit suicide if her husband was proven guilty, Sangeeta alleged evidences were being hidden and that there was political motive behind the case.
FIR REGISTERED AGAINST KULDEEP SINGH
While facing flak from all quarters, the state government decided to hand over the case to the CBI after the Special Investigation Team submitted its report and a video that purportedly showed the girl’s father saying he was assaulted by Sengar’s brother Atul in the presence of police. The government also directed the police to file an FIR against the BJP leader and four others.
The government also received a separate report from Unnao district magistrate on the lapses on part of the government hospital. Two doctors – DK Dwivedi and Prashant Upadhyay – were suspended and while disciplinary proceedings were initiated against three of them – Dr Manoj Kumar, Dr G P Sachan and Dr Gaurav Agrawal – for laxity in giving proper medical care and treatment to the victim’s father prior to judicial custody and at the district hospital.
HC SLAMS UP GOVT OVER DELAY IN MLA’S ARREST
The government was pulled up by the Allahabad High Court over the delay in the arrest of the rape accused. The court also questioned the conduct of the police in the case, saying whom will a victim approach to register a complaint.
BJP MLA DETAINED BY CBI
Kuldeep Singh was finally detained by the CBI on Friday. However, the Allahabad High Court directed the agency to arrest the MLA instead.
NO COMPROMISE, SAYS YOGI ADITYANATH
Under fire over his government’s handling of the rape case, Yogi Adityanath said his government had not deviated from its zero-tolerance policy on crime and corruption. “As soon as the matter came to the notice of the government on April 9, we immediately constituted an SIT (Special Investigation Team) and initiated action in the matter…the policemen and doctors found guilty in the SIT report were suspended,” he told reporters in Chitrakoot.
“We have referred the matter to the CBI…our government will not compromise on the zero-tolerance policy it has followed against crime and corruption since the beginning. We will firmly deal with criminals, however influential they might be,” Adityanath added.
RAPED ACCUSED ARRESTED
After questioning him for nearly 15 hours, the CBI on Friday finally arrested the BJP MLA for raping the minor girl. Kuldeep was produced before a Lucknow court.