The Unnao rape victim, who had accused BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar of sexually assaulting her in 2017, and her lawyer were critically injured and two of her aunts were killed when the car in which they were travelling collided with a truck in Gurubakshganj area of Rae Bareli on Sunday afternoon.
Police said the victims were going to Rae Bareli district jail, where the rape victim’s uncle is lodged. Additional Director General of Police, Lucknow zone, Rajeev Krishna, confirmed that the two women who died in the accident are the rape victim’s aunts.
The 19-year-old rape victim and the lawyer, who was driving the car, are undergoing treatment at the trauma centre of King George’s Medical University in Lucknow, where their condition is critical, said Additional Superintendent of Police, Rae Bareli, Shashi Shekhar Singh.
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said on Monday that the road accident was “shocking” and wondered whether any hope for justice can be expected from the ruling BJP, whose MLA Kuldeep Sengar is an accused in the case.
#Unnao बलात्कार पीड़िता के साथ सड़कदुर्घटना का हादसा चौंकाने वाला है।
इस केस में चल रही CBI जाँच कहाँ तक पहुँची? आरोपी विधायक अभी तक भाजपा में क्यों हैं? पीड़िता और गवाहों की सुरक्षा में ढिलाई क्यों?
इन सवालों के जवाब बिना क्या भाजपा सरकार से न्याय की कोई उम्मीद की जा सकती है?
— Priyanka Gandhi Vadra (@priyankagandhi) July 29, 2019
The victim’s family accused MLA Sengar of planning the accident. Sengar, MLA from Bangarmau in Unnao, is lodged in Sitapur district jail.
“MLA Kuldeep Singh and his associates planned the attack to threaten us so that we stop pursuing the case. Everyone in the village knew they were going to Rae Bareli jail,” said the rape victim’s cousin in Unnao.
Gurubakshganj Station House Officer Rakesh Singh said his team rushed the injured to the district hospital, where one of the aunts of the rape victim died. Doctors referred the other three injured to Lucknow hospital, where the second aunt died.
Lalganj (Rae Bareli) Circle Officer Laxmikant Gautam said the truck driver, identified as Ashish, has been arrested and police are interrogating him. A native of Fatehpur district, Ashish told police he was on his way to Lalganj to load bricks when the accident happened.
Meanwhile, UP DGP OP Singh said that the victim herself requested the security person to not accompany her. “There was no negligence in her security. Due to lack of space in her vehicle, she requested the security personnel deputed for security not to accompany her to Raebareli yesterday,” ANI quoted him as saying.
“We’ll conduct a fair and free probe. Primary probe suggests it was purely an accident due to an overspeeding truck. Truck driver and owner have been arrested. If the family demands a CBI inquiry into the case, we’ll hand over the case to CBI,” he added.
Around five months ago, the rape victim’s 47-year-old uncle, who has been in prison since last year, was shifted from Unnao to Rae Bareli jail on “administrative grounds”. On July 3 this year, a local court in Unnao awarded him 10 years imprisonment in an attempt to murder case filed in 2000.
The Unnao rape case came to light on April 8 last year, when the victim attempted to immolate herself outside Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s residence in Lucknow, alleging police inaction in her case.
Her family had alleged that in 2017, she was raped by Sengar at his residence in Unnao where she was taken by one Shashi Singh, on the pretext of arranging her a job. The victim had also alleged that when her father filed a complaint in court against the MLA, Sengar’s brother Jai Deep Singh alias Atul Singh and others thrashed him on April 3 last year. She also claimed that the MLA and his aides got the victim’s father framed in a false case of physical assault and under the Arms Act. The victim’s father was arrested and sent to jail. On April 8, while in Unnao jail, his condition deteriorated and he was rushed to the district hospital. The next morning, he died during treatment.
The Unnao police lodged three cases in the matter at the Makhi police station. Following a public uproar, the state government transferred the investigation to the CBI.
In July last year, the CBI filed a chargesheet in all three cases. In the rape case, the agency filed a chargesheet against Sengar and Shashi Singh, while in the case of the rape victim’s father’s death, the CBI filed a chargesheet against five people, including the MLA’s brother Jai Deep Singh.
In the third case, the CBI filed a chargesheet against Sengar and nine others for allegedly hatching a conspiracy and implicating the rape victim’s father in an Arms Act case. Three policemen, including Ashok Singh Bhaduria, then station officer of Makhi police station, were among those named in the chargesheet.
When contacted, a CBI official said, “The gangrape victim, her mother and aunt are witnesses in the gangrape case in which MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar is an accused. The trial in the case is yet to start.”
On the directive of the Allahabad High Court, the CBI is still investigating another case of gangrape of the girl. The victim had alleged that she was kidnapped by three youths from near her house in June 2017 and allegedly gangraped.