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Kuldeep Singh Sengar, BJP MLA from Unnao district, which is located about 50 kms from Lucknow, is at the centre of a raging controversy involving rape and murder.
Sengar has been charged with gang raping a 18-year-old girl and orchestrating brutal assault on her father, who recently died in police custody.
In his almost two decades old political career, Sengar has been associated with all the major political parties, including Congress, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Samajwadi Party (SP). He started his career with Youth Congress but later joined BSP. In 2002, he registered his maiden electoral victory on BSP ticket. However, he subsequently switched loyalties to SP and was elected twice as the party MLA in 2007 and 2012.
As an astute politician and sensing the winds flowing in favour of BJP in run-up to the 2017 Uttar Pradesh assembly poll, he joined the saffron party and won from the Bangarmau assembly constituency in Unnao. His wife is also active in the political arena and is currently Unnao district panchayat president.
In the past, the Sengars and the victim’s family shared cordial relations, however, their relationship started souring after he became the MLA.
The primary allegation is that last year the victim was coaxed by a local woman and taken to Sengar’s residence, where she was gang raped by him, his brothers and aides. Later, a complaint was made to the police, however, the cops allegedly refused to entertain the complain after Sengar’s name cropped up. Ever since, the victims’ family has been running from pillar to post and writing letters to the top police officials seeking justice, but no succour came to them.
However, the police maintain that the legislator’s name was not mentioned in the original first information report (FIR), which the victim’s family counters with allegation that they were threatened by Sengar against mentioning his name.
In February this year, the victim’s family finally approached the court for justice. On April 3, the victim’s father was brutally assaulted by the MLA’s younger brother Atul and his accomplices. Later, cross FIRs were lodged by both the sides, but cops picked up the victim’s father on April 4 although he was nursing grievous external and internal injuries.
On April 8, the victim accompanied by her family tried to immolate herself near chief minister Yogi Adityanath’s residence in Lucknow, before they were prevented by the cops present at the site.
According to sources, Sengar, who enjoys the support of Independent MLA from Kunda (Pratapgarh) Raghuraj Pratap Singh alias Raja Bhaiyya has in fact been preparing to contest the next Lok Sabha poll.
Unnao has about 20-22% Brahmin population, followed by Muslims and Rajput. Sengar has over the years emerged as the most prominent Kshatriya leader in the constituency, which partly explains his successive wins despite changing parties.
Meanwhile, Sengar’s wife on Wednesday met UP Director General of Police (DGP) O P Singh claiming innocence of her husband and seeking justice. Yesterday, Adityanath had ordered forming a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the case and submit a report within 24 hrs.
Nonetheless, this episode had put a shadow over the tall claims of the Adityanath government over tough policing and women safety. Over the past one year, the police has killed over 45 wanted criminals in armed encounters with the CM publically announcing giving a free hand to cops to tackle the law and order situation and spare none if found guilty.