Former BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Senger has been convicted by Delhi's Tis Hazari court for abducting and raping a minor at his residence in Unnao, Uttar Pardesh on June 4, 2017, where she had gone seeking a job.
The court had on August 9 framed charges against the four-time BJP MLA from UP's Bangermau and Shashi Singh under Sections 120 b (criminal conspiracy), 363 (kidnapping), 366 (kidnapping or inducing a woman to compel for marriage), 376 (rape) and other relevant sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. However, Singh has been acquitted by the Delhi court.
Here is the timeline of the twists and turns in the Unnao rape case:
The 17-year-old girl was kidnapped on June 4, 2017. The charge sheet filed by the CBI on October 3 revealed that the girl was raped for nine days at different places by three persons when she was a minor in 2017. She was found on June 21 in Aurraiya. Next day, a case was registered under Sections 363 (kidnapping) and 366 (kidnapping a woman to compel her for marriage) of the IPC.
The girl's father was allegedly framed in an illegal arms case on April 3, 2018. On April 8, the 17-year-old tried to self-immolate outside Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's residence in Lucknow to protest against inaction by police against Senger. Her father died in judicial custody allegedly due to police brutality a day after she protested.
The BJP MLA and his accomplices were arrested on April 13. Police also took the woman who allegedly took the girl to Sengar's house into custody.
On July 4, 2019, the girl's uncle was convicted in a 19-year-old case of attempt to murder and was sentenced to 10 years of imprisonment. Interestingly, the case was filed by Sengar’s brother, Atul Singh.
Within a few days, the girl and her family wrote a letter to the then CJI Ranjan Gogoi. The letter said that their lives were in danger because of Sengar and his men.
On July 28, 2019, a truck collided with the car in which the victim, her family and their lawyer were travelling. The collision left her two aunts dead while she and the lawyer were battling for their lives. The next day an FIR was registered against Senger and 9 others in connection with the accident in Raebareli.
Senger was expelled from the Bhartiya Janata Party on August 1. The same day, the Supreme court transferred five criminal cases committed against the girl and her family from Lucknow to Delhi. The apex court also ordered the State government to pay her Rs 25 lakh as interim compensation.
The girl was airlifted to Delhi's All Indian Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) following the car crash. Later, a special court was held there to record her statement.
On Monday, December 16, District Judge Dharmesh Sharma convicted Sengar for rape under Indian Penal Code and POCSO Act for offence of public servant committing penetrative sexual assault against a child.
Soon after his conviction by a Delhi court on Monday in Unnao rape case, expelled BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar broke down in the courtroom. He was seen crying beside his sister.
The court will hear arguments on quantum of sentence on Wednesday. The offences entail maximum punishment of life imprisonment under POCSO.
(With Inputs from Agencies)