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Oppn slams BJP as Unnao victim battles for life; ruckus in Parliament

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Press Trust of India Lucknow/New Delhi
As the Unnao rape victim battled for life following a car crash, the Opposition stepped up its attack against the BJP on Tuesday, accusing the ruling party of giving its MLA political protection.
For God's sake, Mr. Prime Minister, divest this criminal and his brother of the political power your party is giving them. It's still not too late," Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra tweeted on the issue that rocked Parliament as well.
The Congress, the BSP and the SP accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of extending patronage" to MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar, who was charged with raping a minor in 2017.
Sengar, already in jail, and nine others were booked for murder on Monday, a day after the car in which the rape victim, now 19, was hit by speeding truck in Rae Bareli, killing two relatives and leaving her and a lawyer critically injured.
A letter written to the Chief Justice of India by the victim and two family members just days before the car crash, expressing a threat to their lives, has also surfaced.
The CJI has asked the Secretary General to go through the letter written in Hindi for preparing a note of it for his perusal," a Supreme Court official told PTI.
According to doctors at the KGMU Trauma Centre in Lucknow, the rape victim and her lawyer were on ventilator and their condition was being monitored.
A National Commission for Women (NCW) team visited the victim's mother at the hospital.
Her family members sat on a dharna outside the hospital, demanding parole to her uncle Mahesh Singh from jail for the last rites of his wife.
The dharna ended on the intervention of Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav. The court also granted short-term bail to Mahesh Singh to attend the cremation on Wednesday.
Congress workers led by Leader of the Legislature Party Ajay Kumar Lallu too sat on dharna and then courted arrest, demanding the expulsion of the BJP lawmaker from the party.
Uttar Pradesh BJP president Swatantra Dev Singh, however, said the MLA was suspended from the party long back after the rape accusation, and his status remains the same.
But Priyanka Gandhi, who is in charge of eastern Uttar Pradesh for her party, tweeted, Why do we give people like Kuldeep Sengar the strength and protection of political power and abandon their victims to battle for their lives alone?"

On Tuesday, the state government announced a special investigation team (SIT) to probe the car crash. It has earlier also recommended an investigation by the CBI.
"The government has become criminal-friendly, senior party leader Akhilesh Pratap Singh charged, referring to the Yogi Adityanath-led BJP government.
It should act impartially but it appears to be standing alongside the one who is committing one crime after the other. The government's role is not impartial, he said.
In a tweet, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) president Mayawati said, "The meeting of BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj with the rape-accused BJP MLA in jail proved that the raped accused are continuously getting the patronage of the ruling BJP.
The Supreme Court needs to take cognisance of it," she said.
SP chief Akhilesh Yadav, who met the family members of the rape survivor at the hospital, held the Uttar Pradesh government responsible for the car crash.
It has shocked the women of the country. Her father was beaten by the police on the instructions of BJP leaders. The FIR was registered after she tried to immolate herself, he alleged, referring to the history of the rape case.
It is natural that people are questioning the government and the BJP MLA," the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister added.
The Lok Sabha witnessed vociferous protests and sloganeering by Opposition members over the incident.
Members of the Congress, the Trinamool Congress (TMC), the BSP and the DMK walked out of the House. The TMC members walked out twice.
More than 30 members, mostly from the Congress, were in the Well for nearly 40 minutes and were heard shouting, "We want justice".
Urging the protesting members not to politicise the matter, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said the Uttar Pradesh government was doing everything to ensure justice.
The rape survivor's mother had alleged that Sengar, a four-time MLA who represents Bangermau in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly, raped her teenage daughter at his residence in 2017.
Sengar was arrested on April 13 last year.

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First Published: Jul 30 2019 | 7:36 PM IST

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