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Uttar Pradesh govt in a dock after Unnao rape survivor's car accident

Although UP Police was quick to label it 'prime facie' a road accident, the Opposition smelt a rat and demanded a CBI probe in the matter,

Virendra Singh Rawat  |  Lucknow 

Raebareli: People stand near the site of accident in which the Unnao rape survivor was seroiusly injured after the car in which she was travelling collided with a truck, near Raebareli, Sunday, July 28, 2019. The rape survivor, who had accused BJP ML
People stand near the site of accident in which the Unnao rape survivor was seroiusly injured after the car in which she was travelling collided with a truck, near Raebareli, Sunday, July 28, 2019 | Photo: PTI

Around the same time, when Union Home Minister Amit Shah was waxing eloquent on Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister in Lucknow for improving law and order and curbing politicisation of government, the rape survivor — in a case involving a ruling BJP legislator — was grievously wounded in a road accident in Rae Bareli district, while her kin were killed.

Although UP Police was quick to label it ‘prime facie’ a road accident, the Opposition smelt a rat and demanded a CBI probe in the matter, or that the Supreme Court order an independent investigation.

The rape survivor, accompanied by her two aunts, sister and a lawyer, was travelling by car to meet her uncle Mahesh Singh, lodged in Rae Bareli district jail for allegedly assaulting Atul Singh, the brother of legislator Kuldeep Singh Sengar.

While her aunts were killed, the rape survivor, her sister and their lawyer sustained grievous injuries when their car was hit head-on by a truck. The injured were shifted to King George’s Medical University, Lucknow, where their condition is stated to be critical.

Sengar was among the 10 people named in an FIR registered on Monday for murder and attempt to murder. The FIR, in which 15-20 unnamed people were also mentioned, was registered at the Gurubuxganj police station in Raebareli.

The Opposition raised the issue in both Houses of Parliament. The Rajya Sabha was adjourned for 15 minutes. Congress’s Manish Tewari demanded the Supreme Court take up the case suo moto and an independent investigation. A protest was held at India Gate.

Sengar, BJP legislator from Unnao, about 50 km from Lucknow, is behind bars in the case. A local strongman, Sengar and others have been charged with gangraping the minor and orchestrating the assault on her father, who died in police custody in April, 2018. The rape survivor had been provided police protection, yet the policemen were not accompanying the family when the accident occurred around 1 pm on Rae Bareli-Lalganj Highway on Sunday.

Later, the truck driver and his aide were arrested. They are being questioned, even as the state government has said the case would be transferred to CBI if demanded by the rape survivor’s family. Police said the registration plate of the truck that hit the car carrying the rape survivor’s family was scrubbed, but they managed to retrieve the number.

The mother of the rape survivor, who suffered grievous injuries in the accident, told the media that Sunday’s incident was a conspiracy to wipe out her family.

Samajwadi Party President Akhilesh Yadav attacked the Adityanath government and slammed the police for intimidating the survivor’s family. Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi termed the incident shocking. “Why is the accused MLA still in the BJP? Why is there laxity in the security of the victim and the witnesses? Can you hope for any justice from the BJP government without an answer to these questions,” she tweeted.

With inputs from Archis Mohan

First Published: Mon, July 29 2019. 23:37 IST
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