Representational image. | Image Courtesy: The Economic Times
Unnao: Parents of a standard XI student have prevented her from attending school in Barabanki after a video of her questioning the district police chief during an awareness programme at the school went viral recently. The student had asked how she will raise her voice if – like Unnao rape victim – the accused perpetrator is a powerful, high-profile politician.
The parents of the girl are now apprehensive of any untoward incident or a threat to their daughter, and hence have stopped her from going to the school.
This is evident of how bad the law and order of the state is, which was dubbed as the “model law and order condition in India”, by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
The Unnao rape victim, according to the doctors from the King George Medical University (KGMU), has suffered multiple fractures, head injuries and infections in lungs and a few other vital organs following an “accident” that took place on July 29. The “accident” claimed two lives, and injured the lawyer of the victim as well, whose condition remains critical.
The driver of the truck and its owner were arrested and produced before the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court in Lucknow, where they were reportedly thrashed by the lawyers, and now the CBI has their remand for three days in order to interrogate them.
Victim’s mother says:
Meanwhile, while speaking to NewsClick at the third floor of the KGMU trauma centre, the victim's mother told expressed concern that the death of all the CBI witnesses in the case may weaken her case.
“I do not know what will happen next, as all the witnesses have been killed on the orders of Kuldeep Singh Sengar. Now I only want my daughter to remain alive and once she is fine, I will shift to some other state and not live in Uttar Pradesh,” she said.
She added, “We have repeatedly sent kilos of letters to the SP, DM and even to the court telling them about the threat to our lives, but none of the letters could ever fetch any kind of attention from anyone in power. The MLA’s men even molested, tried to grope my younger daughter, when they had come to threaten us to withdraw the case. This was even recorded on a mobile phone camera, but the phone eventually got damaged in the accident. They (MLA’s associates) keep an eye on every movement of our family.”
The reporter, while strolling in the village, also found a CCTV camera installed on the west wall of the MLA’s house which focuses on the path leading to the victim's house.
The MLA’s men
The villagers – who are seemingly in support of the MLA or perhaps are afraid – have kept mum and are not ready to speak to any of the reporters reaching the village.
On reaching the Makhi village, this NewsClick reporter experienced an uneasy quietude even as a large number of people are protesting in support of the MLA in front of his house. The protest was also joined by the teachers employed in MLA's school.
Death of the victim’s father
Rakesh Singh, a man who was seen exiting MLA’s home told this reporter that Surendra Singh (victim’s father) was beaten by an aide of the MLA and his brother Atul Singh Sengar.
“He was drunk and hurling abuses at us. He abused Atul bhaiya then we gave him a taste of his own medicine. He was brought from the fields and beaten when he did not say sorry. He was beaten in the presence of many people,” Singh said loudly before returning to the quarters. This reporter observed that no one from the village was ready to speak against the MLA and most of the homes had their doors locked.
As per the records seen by this reporter, Sengar’s family has met the accused MLA who is lodged in Sitapur jail six times in the past one year, but unofficial sources confirmed that someone from his close circle has paid him a visit “almost every alternate day”. The Sitapur jail administration, however, has refuted this claim, but declined to show the records.
It is also to be noted that several news reports of jail inmates using mobile phones and enjoying luxuries in the jail have come to light in Uttar Pradesh in the last one month. So, there is scope for suspicion in context of the road accident being a preplanned development.
About the MLA
Kuldeep Singh Sengar, a four-time MLA from Unnao was first elected on the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) ticket in 2002. He joined the Samajwadi Party to win again in 2007 from the Bangermau seat and in 2012, he was elected as MLA from the Bhagwant Nagar seat.
He switched over to the BJP to win from Bangarmau in 2017.
Sengar’s wife Sangeeta Sengar is the chairperson of Zilla Panchayat.
The house of MLA is sprawled over several acres, with three big temples and one inter-college inside with a strength of 900 student. The house of the victim is just 20 metre away from his house, and has two rooms with a small verandah.
Both Kuldeep Singh Sengar and his brother Atul Singh have a long criminal history. He and his brother were reportedly involved in firing at then ADM Ram Lal Verma when police officers tried to stop illegal mining by his men in the area in 2004.
The MLA and his brother have also allegedly assaulted and thrashed two Unnao-based journalists and have filed police cases against them for reporting against him.
“When I published the news against the MLA a couple of years ago, I first received phone calls in which they hurled abuses at me, and later, I was attacked by his brother. They beat me up blue and black and made me squat,” the journalist working with a Hindi daily revealed.
He further said that, “The MLA is so well-connected that no one dares to go against him. A few years ago when the Allahabad High Court ordered to check on the illegal mining in Unnao, it was his men who got the barrage gates open in the Ganga river and all the mining area was under water the night before the measurement was to be done.”
- June 4: The 17-year-old goes missing from her village, Mankhi in Uttar Pradesh (UP). She was allegedly gang-raped by BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar, his brother Atul Singh and their accomplices. A missing person complaint is filed by her family members.
- June 21: She was found in Auraiya.
- June 22: A case is registered under Sections 363 (kidnapping) and 366 (kidnapping a woman to compel her for marriage) of the Indian Penal Code.
- April 3: Her father is thrashed allegedly by the legislator’s brother Atul Sengar and his accomplices. Though both sides lodge complaints against each other, the police choose to arrest only her father and he is sent to judicial custody.
- April 8: The survivor tries to set herself ablaze near Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s residence in Lucknow to protest against the alleged police inaction against Sengar. She says her family had been threatened.
- April 9: Her father dies in police custody. The post-mortem report lists the cause of death to be “blood poisoning due to perforation of colon”. It also lists multiple injuries on his body.
- April 11: The survivor and her family are allegedly confined to a hotel room on the pretext of protection, without water or electricity.
- Acting on a request by senior advocate Gopal S. Chaturvedi for a court-monitored probe, the Allahabad High Court admits his letter as a public interest litigation plea.
- April 12: Sengar, Atul Singh and their accomplices are arrested by the CBI.
- April 13: Facing severe flak over the delay in taking action against Sengar, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath says his government has not deviated from its zero-tolerance policy on crime and that it will firmly deal with criminals, no matter how influential they might be.
- April 14: The CBI makes a second arrest in the Unnao rape case. It takes into custody the woman who allegedly took the girl to Sengar on the day of the crime.
- July 2: The uncle of the survivor is convicted in a 19-year-old case of attempt to murder that had been filed by Atul Singh. He is sentenced to 10 years in prison by a district court.
- July 28: A Rae Bareli truck-car collision leaves the girl and her lawyer critically injured. Two of the victim’s aunts are killed in the accident. The victim, who is battling for her life in a hospital in Lucknow with multiple fractures, head and chest injuries, and her lawyer are on ventilator support.
- August 1: BJP Uttar Pradesh president Swatantra Dev Singh says Sengar was expelled by the central leadership of the party after he was suspended by the State unit.
- August 2: The Supreme Court transfers five cases of crimes committed against the rape survivor and her family from a CBI court in Lucknow to its counterpart in Delhi and orders the State government to pay her Rs 25 lakh as interim compensation.
Also read: Unnao Rape Survivor’s Family Free to Take Call on Shifting Her to AIIMS: SC