The police in Uttar Pradesh today registered an FIR against BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar in connection with the alleged gangrape of a minor girl in Unnao, hours after the government said it would hand the probe over to the CBI.
Till the premier investigating agency takes over, the local police would continue with the probe, but a decision on whether the accused MLA from the ruling party would be arrested would be taken by the CBI, Principal Secretary (Home) Arvind Kumar said.
A letter for handing the probe over to the CBI for maintaining total transparency in the case would be sent to the home department today, he told reporters here.
The Unnao police earlier today registered the case against Sengar under various sections of the IPC and provisions of the Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act in the Makhi police station area.
Under POCSO, an accused has to be arrested immediately after a case been filed.
The FIR has been registered under Sections 376 (rape), 366 (kidnapping, abducting or inducing a woman to compel her into marriage), 363 (kidnapping) and 506 (criminal intimidation).
Principal Secretary (Information) Avanish Awasthi had said in an statement late last night that an FIR would be lodged under appropriate sections against Sengar and others and the investigation would be handed over to CBI.
To a volley of questions on whether Sengar would be arrested now that a case had been registered, Kumar said the CBI would take a decision on this depending on the merit of the case after investigations.
The principal secretary (Home) and state Director General of Police (DGP) O P Singh said the MLA had not been named in the statement given before the magistrate earlier as the minor had said she feared for her life.
Kumar also dismissed allegations that police was trying to shield the MLA, and said it was because of these charges that the probe was being given to the CBI.
The government has also decided to extend security to the family of the 17-year-old girl, the DGP said.
He said no one found guilty would be spared and added that action had already been taken against some policemen and doctors for laxity and negligence.
Two doctors have been suspended and disciplinary proceedings initiated against three others for laxity in providing the victim's father with proper medical care and treatment prior to his judicial custody and at the district hospital, Kumar said.
Kumar said the government had decided to transfer the case to the CBI after lodging the case into the incidents of June 4, 2017, (alleged rape) and since the two other cases of April 3 this year (cross FIRs on the beating up of the victim's father leading to his death) are connected, they be also transferred to the CBI.
The officials also clarified why an FIR was not lodged against the MLA earlier saying this was because the teenager had not mentioned his name in the statement given before the magistrate.
Now that the girl and her family have told the SIT, which visited them yesterday, that they had not done so because of fear, a case has been registered against the MLA, they said.
The DGP was asked by the reporters why he continued to refer to the MLA as "vidhaykji" since he was an accused in a rape case.
He was according him respect because Sengar was a people's representative and charges against him had not been proved, the DGP replied.
The alleged rape case had come into the limelight after the victim tried to immolate herself outside Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's residence alleging police inaction against the BJP MLA.
Last night, the SIT constituted by the government handed over its report to the government after which it was decided an FIR would be lodged against the MLA and the case handed over to the CBI.
The teen rape survivor has alleged that she was confined to a hotel room by the district administration, leaving her "without a phone or water and guards at every corner".
She today demanded the immediate arrest of the MLA, saying that the CBI probe could be conducted later.
"We have no objection to the inquiry but he should be arrested first...why is he being shielded," she told the electronic media.
"If the MLA is allowed to remain out he will not leave my uncle... He had earlier too hatched conspiracies against my kin," she said.
The teenager added, "Only when he is arrested, I will be satisfied and I will be able to say that the BJP government is doing justice."
A purported video of the alleged rape survivor's father before his death has also gone viral and was aired by several TV channels. In the video, he alleged he was mercilessly beaten up, including with rifle butts, by the MLA's brother and others.
It also showed the victim's father -- who died on Monday -- with serious wounds on his back.
The veracity of the video could not be ascertained.
The wife of the accused, Sangeeta Sengar, had yesterday demanded narco-tests of her husband and the 17-year-old girl.