New Delhi: A fight for justice has now turned into a tragedy for an 18-year-old woman from Unnao who had alleged last week that the BJP MLA from Unnao, Kuldeep Singh Sengar, and a few others had raped her.
But late Sunday night, her father Pappu Singh, 50, who has been in judicial custody since April 5 after a complaint was filed by his daughter’s alleged rapists, was rushed to the district hospital after he complained of severe stomach pain. He died early Monday, prompting the woman and her family to charge that he was “killed at the behest of the BJP MLA” inside the jail so that he wouldn’t rake up more trouble.
This comes just a day after the woman and a few other family members attempted to commit suicide outside the house of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in Lucknow on Sunday in a bid to get him to take action against the alleged rapists, which she says include Sengar’s brother. The immolation bid was, however, foiled by the police.
A magisterial probe had been ordered into the incident. “If the allegations are true, it’s a very unfortunate incident. For a fair probe, the inquiry has been shifted to Lucknow from Unnao. The state government is committed to ensuring justice to the victim’s family,” UP cabinet minister and government spokesman Srikant Sharma told reporters.
Director General of Police O.P. Singh said a Lucknow police team had been constituted to probe the entire matter. “Whosoever is found guilty, strict action will be taken. None will be spared,” he said.
According to NDTV, two police officers and four constables have also been suspended, while four persons accused of beating the girl’s father have been arrested.
My father has already died & now they say that the action will be taken. I just want that FIR be written against Arun Singh & Kuldeep Singh and they be arrested. I want justice: Sister of the rape victim #Unnao pic.twitter.com/4vxtRZ0Trv
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) April 9, 2018
District Magistrate Ravi Kumar N.G. said that the postmortem examination of the victim would be conducted by a panel of doctors to ascertain the exact cause of death.
Pappu was arrested on April 5 under the Arms Act after he was allegedly beaten up by Anil Singh, the MLA’s brother. “It’s a conspiracy hatched by my political opponents to damage my reputation… I have no problems with any probe. Let a probe be conducted, and the guilty be given the stringent punishment. If I am found guilty in the probe, I am ready to face the punishment,” Sengar told PTI.
Attacking the BJP government, Samajwadi Party supremo and former UP CM Akhilesh Yadav said in a tweet, “In (UP) state a girl, going for coaching classes is being shot dead…Another girl accusing BJP MLA of gangrape tried to immolate herself in front of CM’s residence after disappointment from the government. Is this fear of government of ‘encounter’ that instead of criminals, woman are getting terrified?(sic)”
प्रदेश में कहीं कोचिंग की छात्रा की सरेआम गोली मारकर हत्या हो रही है, तो कहीं भाजपा विधायक पर दुष्कर्म का आरोप लगाने वाली महिला सरकार से निराश होकर मुख्यमंत्री आवास पर आत्मदाह कर रही है. क्या यही है ‘एन्काउंटरवाली’ सरकार का ख़ौफ़ कि अपराधियों की जगह आज नारी आतंकित हो रही है.
— Akhilesh Yadav (@yadavakhilesh) April 9, 2018
Congress chief Rahul Gandhi also slammed the government in UP:
बेटी बचाओ-खुद मारे जाओ
एक युवती भाजपा MLA पर बलात्कार का आरोप लगाती है| MLA को गिरफ्तार करने के बजाय पुलिस युवती के पिता को हिरासत में ले लेती है| उसके तुरंत बाद पुलिस कस्टडी में उनकी मृत्यु हो जाती है|
वहीँ आरोपी भाजपा विधायक अभी भी खुले घूम रहे हैं|https://t.co/TN5GDXm7Ow
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) April 9, 2018
Samajwadi Party spokesperson Juhi Singh also blamed police inaction for Singh’s death. “The girl kept requesting for security for the family. But nothing was done. Insensitivity is rampant in this state. This is murder,” she said.
Gautampalli police station inspector Vijaysen Singh said, “The incident took place outside the Golf Club gate (near the official residence of the chief minister), where the girl from Unnao alleged that she was raped. She also alleged that the Unnao police had not registered a case against the BJP MLA despite her complaint and no action was taken.”
Sengar represents the Bangermau constituency in Unnao district, around 90 km from the state capital.
With inputs from PTI.