Under fire over his government’s handling of Unnao rape case, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Friday insisted that 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 said.
The Yogi Adityanath-led state government has been drawing flak ever since one if its MLA, Kuldeep Singh Sengar, has been named as one of the accused in the alleged rape of a 17-year-old girl in Unnao district. CM Adityanath’s comments came amidst criticism by political parties and public outcry for the legislator’s arrest.
Earlier in the day, the Allahabad High Court directed the CBI to arrest MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar in connection with the alleged gangrape of a minor girl over a year ago.
Reacting to the incident, senior Uttar Pradesh minister and spokesperson of the state government Siddharth Nath Singh said the law will take its own course and lashed out at the opposition for “shedding crocodile tears” on the issue of women’s safety. He also pointed out that the process of recommending a CBI inquiry was promptly completed and that the central probe agency had already taken over the case and detained the accused MLA for questioning.
Hitting back at the political opponents of the BJP, Singh recalled how the then chief minister Akhilesh Yadav had “shielded rape-accused minister” Gayatri Prajapati. He also referred to Samajwadi Party (SP) patron Mulayam Singh Yadav’s remarks — “Should a rape accused be punished with hanging? Boys are boys, they make mistakes.”
The alleged rape case came into the limelight after the victim tried to immolate herself outside Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s residence on Sunday, alleging police inaction against the BJP MLA. The victim alleged that she was raped by the MLA at his residence on June 4, 2017 where she had gone with a relative seeking a job. In February, the girl’s family moved court seeking to include the MLA’s name in the rape case.
After filing of the case, the victim’s father was booked by the police under the arms act on April 3 this year and was put in jail two days later. Subsequently, her father died in jail with post-mortem suggesting serious injuries on his body.
With PTI inputs