Lucknow, April 10: What grabbed the nation’s attention with the self-immolation bid by a young woman near UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s residence at 5,Kalidas Marg, a couple of days ago had grown exponentially on Tuesday. Even as we grappled with the news of the 20-year-old rape victim’s father’s mysterious death in a hospital, the stories which followed only made it murkier. Doctors who had examined the deceased, Devender, before he was sent to prison, had marked 18 injuries on his body. The young woman alleged that her father was killed at the behest of BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar, the man she also accused of raping her along with his aides. Meanwhile, Sengar continued to be defiant even as his brother and the man accused of beating up Devender, Atul, was arrested during the day. By evening, Atul and his four aides had been sent to Unnao district jail and police planned to file for remand on Wednesday.
MLA Sengar had been summoned to the state capital by the Chief Minister but the meeting reportedly never happened. Sengar insisted he was innocent and said he was being framed. In damage control mode, Yogi instituted a probe and assured that the guilty won’t be spared. ADG (Law and Order) Anand Kumar said the Special Investigation Team (SIT) would probe the case from all angles; the rape charges, the alleged assault on the girl’s father, the alleged involvement of the MLA and his kin, and Devender’s death. Meanwhile, the young woman’s father’s autopsy revealed he had died of shock and septicemia. The Chief Medical Officer told Zee that Devender could have been saved had he been taken to the hospital well in time.
Devender’s brother told ANI that his family was on cordial terms with that of Sengar. He alleged that last year, in September, police told him that they could not redress their complaint because of “pressure from the administration” so they should take their plaint to the court.
The National Human Rights Commission swung into action and sought answers from the state government. In notices it sent out to Chief Secretary Rajive Kumar and state DGP O.P. Singh, the Commission has sought answers as to why it wasn’t notified about the said custodial death even 24 hours after and has demanded action against police officers who allegedly refused to file the victim’s complaint. Giving four weeks’ time to the state government, NHRC has pointed out that if the charges by the victim were true, then they pointed at a serious violation of the rights of her family and that the government should ensure they weren’t subject to any further harassment at the hands of influential people. An SHO and five other cops have been suspended in the case so far.