Unnao gangrape: BJP MLA’s kin arrested; SIT probe ordered
Lucknow: The police today arrested Atul Singh, brother of a BJP MLA, in connection with the gangrape of an 18-year-old woman and the custodial death of her father in Uttar Pradesh’s Unnao district, as an SIT was formed to probe the incident.
A plea was also moved in the Supreme Court for a CBI probe in the matter.
“The Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by Additional Director General (ADG) of Police (Lucknow zone) will go into the entire gamut of issues involved in the incident,” ADG (Law and Order) Anand Kumar told a press conference here.
A home department spokesman said a case had been registered against Atul Singh under various IPC sections including 302 (murder).
The victim has alleged that she was raped by BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar and his brothers, and blamed the lawmaker for her father’s death.
The BJP MLA, however, has rejected the charges as a “conspiracy” by his opponents.
Kumar said nobody has been given a clean chit in the case so far.
“The Superintendent of Police (crime branch) will be a member of the SIT, which will look into various aspects of the case, and accordingly take action against those found guilty,” he said, adding a woman police officer of DSP rank will also be part of the investigative team.
To a question on the possibility of those close to the lawmaker influencing the case, the ADG said, “The SIT will establish all that…As you know the SHO of the police station and five other policemen have been suspended on grounds of dereliction of duty and mala fide considerations. The entire issue will be reconstructed and whoever is culpable and had tried to shield any person will be taken to task.”
Kumar also clarified that the death of the victim’s father did not take place in police custody.
“Whatever incident of beating up the deceased took place, it happened in the village. The police in fact admitted him to the hospital immediately. But, whether there has been impartial and proper investigation, all these facts will be probed by the SIT, which will holistically probe the entire issue and the guilty will be booked,” he assured.
The victim’s father died in custody in Unnao yesterday, prompting the woman to charge that he was killed inside the district jail at the behest of the BJP MLA.
Commenting on the death of the victim’s father, Chief medical officer of Unnao, S P Chaudhary, said, “The death may have been caused by shock and septicemia due to peritonitis (inflammation of the lining of the inner wall of the abdomen)”.
“How colon perforation happened and where it happened is a matter of judicial inquiry,” he said.
A police spokesperson here said a crime branch team arrested the BJP MLA’s brother Atul Singh on the directions of the state police chief.
Earlier, four persons — Sonu, Baua, Vinit and Shailu –were arrested for allegedly beating up the woman’s father.
The victim’s father was arrested on April 5 under the Arms Act after he was allegedly beaten up by the MLA’s brother.
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) today sent a notice to the Uttar Pradesh government and the state police chief seeking a detailed report on the incident and asked the authorities to ensure the aggrieved family was not subjected to further harassment.
“Notices have been issued to chief secretary and the Director General of Police, Uttar Pradesh, calling for a detailed report in the matter, including action taken against the delinquent police officials, who refused to register an FIR,” the rights body said.
The Commission observed that the allegations, if true, raised a serious issue of violation of human rights of the victim’s family.
“The incident was reported to have happened a day after the alleged rape victim tried to immolate herself near the chief minister’s residence, accusing BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar and his aides of gangrape,” the NHRC said and directed that the magisterial inquiry in the matter be expedited.
As the incident sparked outrage, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath sought a report into the custodial death.
State minister Siddhartnath Singh said law will take its own course in the case.
“Two things will have to be seen — when the case was before the magistrate, the rape victim had not taken any name. And now when some names have been mentioned, action has been taken and arrests have been made. An SIT has also been constituted,” he said.
Meanwhile, opposition Samajwadi Party workers today staged a demonstration in Hazratganj area in the heart of the state capital demanding immediate arrest of the BJP MLA.
A five-member women’s fact-finding team has been constituted by the party to visit Unnao, SP spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary said.