The Unnao rape case had shocked the entire nation when it happened, but the case again made the headlines after the survivor in the case met with a deadly accident on Sunday and is now battling for her life.
The accident has generated much controversy, with many alleging that it was pre-meditated -- orchestrated by Kuldeep Singh Sengar, the BJP MLA accused of raping the Unnao woman. Even the survivor's family has alleged a conspiracy. After this, an FIR has been registered against BJP MLA Kuldeep Sengar, his brother Manoj Sengar and eight others in the accident case in which the Unnao rape survivor and her lawyer were critically injured and two female relatives were killed. The FIR has been registered on basis of the complaint given by the rape survivor's uncle Mahesh Singh, who is lodged in Rae Bareli jail.
At 1.30 pm on Sunday, a car in which the survivor of Unnao rape case, her family and lawyer were travelling was hit by an over-speeding truck in Rae Bareli. The accident happened while the Unnao rape survivor, her paternal and maternal aunts along with their advocate were on their way to meet her uncle, who is lodged in Rae Bareli jail. The truck hit the car carrying the rape survivor, her family and lawyer when they were going to meet Mahesh Singh on Sunday. Two -- Sheela (50) and Pushpa (45) -- were killed in the mishap. The truck was going from Rae Bareli to Fatehpur while the survivor's car was going from Unnao to Rae Bareli when the accident occurred.
One of the women who died in the accident was a witness in the Unnao rape case. The rape survivor's mother claimed that the accident was a conspiracy to eliminate the victim and others. The accident in which a speeding truck crashed into the car in which the survivor and her family were travelling, has turned into a major controversy. The owner, driver and cleaner of the truck have been arrested. A CBI team, investigating the rape case against the MLA, also visited the hospital to meet the family members and then the police to get information about the accident.
What action has been taken by the state officials so far?
The UP Police has been able to retrieve the number from the scrubbed registration plate and has inferred that it was from Fatehpur. The truck has been impounded and the driver has been arrested. Teams from Lucknow have reached Rae Bareli for investigation.
BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar was among the 10 people named in an FIR registered on Monday in connection with a road accident in which the Unnao rape survivor and her lawyer were critically injured and her two aunts killed, police said. The FIR, in which 15-20 unnamed people were also mentioned, was registered at the Gurubuxganj police station in Raebareli, they said.
An FIR was registered under Indian Penal Code's sections 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder), 506 (criminal intimidation), 120b (criminal conspiracy) against 10 named persons, including the BJP MLA, and 15-20 others.
Sengar, a four-time MLA who represents Bangermau in the Uttar Pradesh assembly, was arrested in 2018 in connection with the incident that took place in 2017. The case was registered on a complaint from the rape survivor's uncle Mahesh Singh, who is lodged in the Raebareli jail, police said.
Besides the BJP legislator, his brother Manoj Singh Sengar, Vinod Mishra, Haripal Singh, Naveen Singh, Komal Singh, Arun Singh, Gyandendra Singh, Rinku Singh and Awadhesh Singh have been named in the FIR.
The other major revelation is the truck involved in the accident belongs to a Samajwadi Party leader. The Akhilesh Yadav-led party, incidentally, was the first to demand the Central Bureau of Investigation probe. Principal Secretary (Home) Arvind Kumar said around midnight on Monday a formal request for the probe by the premiere agency was sent to the Centre. "The government has decided to refer the investigation of case crime number 305/2019 u/s 302/307/506/120 B IPC PS Gurbuxganj Distt Rae Bareli to the CBI. A formal request has been sent to Government of India in this regard," he stated.
What is the Unnao rape case?
In April last year, an 18-year-old was allegedly raped by BJP MLA from Unnao, Kuldeep Singh Sengar, along with his accomplices. The incident came to light when she tried to commit suicide outside Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s residence in Lucknow. She had alleged that BJP MLA from Unnao district’s Bangermau constituency, Kuldeep Singh Sengar, had raped her in the June of 2017 (when she was 17) and threatened her when she lodged an FIR.
The rape victim told ANI, “I was raped. I have been going from pillar to post for the last one year but no one listened to me. I want all of them arrested, otherwise, I will kill myself. I had even gone to the CM but it did not help. When we lodged an FIR, we were threatened.” She claims that her family was threatened and her father beaten up after she had lodged a complaint against Sengar.
Initially, Kuldeep Singh Sengar, who was earlier associated with the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party, denied the allegations. “This is a pre-planned incident. There was an incident in their family, a case was registered. The police prevented them from making me a scapegoat… they haven’t left any platform to defame me. I request the administration to probe this matter and punish the real culprit,” he told ANI. The investigation has revealed that both parties are in a dispute for the 10-12 years.
The wife of accused BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar, Sangeeta Sengar defended her husband. She told ANI, “My husband is innocent. If he is proven guilty, the entire family will give up their lives. The way evidences are being hidden, it is not correct, we want justice.”
Where is Kuldeep Sengar?
While Sengar is currently in jail in connection with the rape case, his family members fled Unnao after news of the accident came. Sengar's sister and his aides, who lived in the Makhi village of Unnao district, are reportedly missing after the accident.
The accident has caused a political storm and politicians are slamming the BJP government and the UP Police.
"Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao. A new special education bulletin for Indian women. Don't ask questions if a BJP MLA is accused of having raped you," Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said in a tweet, tagging a media report on the accident.
West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee said, "The actual truth must come...The CBI is under the PM's office...and they can send a letter to everyone...then at least take action in these cases."
SP Chief Akhilesh Yadav said the accident could be a murder. "Police are saying the accident happened due to rain, they are speaking the language of those who are sitting above them in government. Samajwadi Party had raised victim's voice back then, & did same in Parliament, today," he said.
Linking the BJP to a road accident involving the Unnao rape survivor's car, CPI (M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said on Monday that the government's 'Beti Bachao' slogan was a "grim warning in this context" as the sexual assault case was against a ruling party lawmaker.
Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said that the accident was "shocking" and wondered whether any hope for justice can be expected from the ruling BJP.
AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi called the accident a bid to silence the survivor. "The victim had clearly stated that she wants CBI inquiry. This is no accident this is an attempt to shut the mouth of justice for that girl. Everyone wants justice in this case. Justice has been killed in UP," he said.
Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati appealed the Supreme Court to take cognizance of the case and ensure “strict action".
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also joined the political outcry. Calling the incident “state-sponsored barbarism”, he alleged that “systematic attempts to eliminate the Unnao rape victim and her family”.
(Inputs from Agencies)