New Delhi: The father of a minor rape survivor was shot dead in Uttar Pradesh’s Firozabad district. Her family has insisted that police had turned a blind eye to the threats made by the rape accused.
So far, three police officers have been suspended.
According to reports, the 50-year-old man was shot dead in Firozabad’s Tilak Nagar. Six months ago, his daughter had been raped and a police complaint had been filed against a man identified as Achaman Upadhyay, alias Chotu.
Police had also registered cases under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) against Upadhyay.
The rape accused had called the survivor’s mother a few days earlier and threatened to kill the father if the case was not withdrawn before February 10.
The family had approached the police, but they allegedly did not take any action.
A relative, as quoted by The Indian Express, said that the father had been on way home, when he was waylaid by four men. The main accused, Achaman Upadhyay, who has a criminal record, allegedly fired at him and fled with his accomplices. The father was taken to the district hospital by local residents, where he was declared dead.
The man’s family held a demonstration at the hospital, alleging police negligence and inaction over what was a clear threat. The family claimed that the chief accused had been frequently seen in the area, but the police did not arrest him.
The FIR on the fatal shooting names Achaman Upadhyay and three unidentified men as the key accused. All of them are on the run. The district police have now announced a reward of Rs 50,000 for information related to the accused.
“As the accused was on the run, we attached his property after obtaining a court order. We had earlier announced a reward of Rs 15,000 for information leading to his arrest,” said Firozabad superintendent of police, Sachin Patel.
The case bears eerie similarity to that of the rape and subsequent intimidation carried out by BJP MLA Kuldeep Sengar in Unnao. In 2018, the Unnao survivor’s father was brutally assaulted during the hearing of her case by Sengar’s accomplices.
Police, however, arrested the father on charges of illegal possession of firearms a day later. The father died four days later in police custody because of “blood poisoning due to perforation of colon” according to the post-mortem report which also listed multiple injuries and abrasions around his arms, thighs, buttocks, knees and abdomen.
Besides Unnao, Uttar Pradesh has a sorry track record when it comes to violence against women. Former Union minister Chinmayanand was recently granted bail in a case where a 23-year-old law student had alleged that he had raped her. Not only has the law student been held on charges of ‘extortion’, but the Yogi Adityanath government had earlier tried to get yet another case of sexual assault against Chinmayanand quashed.