A Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA from Unnao district of Uttar Pradesh has been accused of allegedly raping an 18-year-old girl in 2017.
Here is the story so far:
1. BJP MLA from Unnao, Kuldeep Singh Sengar allegedly raped a teenager on June 4, 2017.
2. The teenager said Kuldeep Singh Sengar called her home promising her a job. There he allegedly raped her, while his accomplice kept watch outside.
3. The victim, in her statement, said when she started to cry, the lawmaker wiped her tears and assured her a good job.
When she said she would lodge a complaint against him, Kuldeep Singh Sengar reportedly threatened to kill her father and brother.
4. The girl was again abducted seven days after the incident by three men in an SUV and allegedly kept intoxicated, gang-raped and repeatedly moved to different locations.
They even tried to sell her off for Rs. 60,000, the victim alleged, adding, two of the trio were the BJP MLA’s men.
5. A case was filed on June 20, 2017, and three suspects – Shubham Singh, Brijesh Yadav and Awadh Narayan – were arrested.
6. Meanwhile, the victim was sent to her uncle’s house in Delhi from Unnao.
7. She returned to Unnao in August and went to file a complaint against Kuldeep Singh Sengar. However, she said, the police did not register her FIR. She then moved the court against police inaction but in vain.
8. The girl allegedly attempted suicide outside Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath’s residence in Lucknow on Sunday (Apr 8).
9. Meanwhile, her father Pappu died in police custody early Monday (Apr 9). The girl alleged he was killed at the behest of Kuldeep Singh Sengar. His post-mortem examination report said the 55-year-old died due to shock and septicaemia.(You must read: Rape cases on the rise: NCRB report highlights)
10. A Special Investigation Team (SIT) has been constituted to probe the alleged rape and killing.
11. Kuldeep Singh Sengar’s brother Atul Singh was arrested on Tuesday (Apr 10) in connection with the alleged custodial killing.
12. Meanwhile, the BJP MLA has refuted the rape charges against him and said it is a conspiracy by his opponents.
13. The Unnao rape case handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Thursday (Apr 12) upon the intervention of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).
14. When asked why Kuldeep Singh Sengar is still not arrested, Uttar Pradesh Director General of Police (DGP) OP Singh said at a press conference on Thursday (Apr 12) that the “mananiya vidhayak (respected legislator)”, if at all be arrested, will be by the CBI and not by state police.
“So far, he has only been accused and not convicted,” OP Singh told media, adding, “Nobody is defending the honourable MLA, but we have to hear both sides.”
15. The victim and her family have been lodged at a hotel near their village under police protection.
16. The SIT visited them a second time on Thursday (Apr 12) and recorded fresh statement.
17. The same morning, Kuldeep Singh Sengar was seen coming out from the residence of Senior Superintendent of Police in Lucknow.
He told the media waiting outside: “I have come here to show that I am not absconding. I am in Lucknow. I am a disciplined BJP worker. I am being implicated. I will surrender if there is a warrant against me.”
18. Meanwhile, the Allahabad High Court on Thursday (Apr 12) questioned the SIT why the BJP MLA has yet not been arrested. The SIT told the court that there is not enough evidence against him.
19. The Allahabad High Court will take up the matter again at 2 pm on Friday (Apr 13).
Sreya is based in Kolkata. She is a Senior Editor of Big Wire.