Mayawati orders release of minor rape victim

Mayawati announced the release of the girl who had been lodged in the Banda district jail for the past 20 days after the MLA accused her of stealing his cell phone and some cash. The girl, however, alleged that the MLA got her arrested after she threatened to expose him and his accomplices who had gangraped her.

“It seems that the MLA levelled the allegations of theft against the girl to hide his own crime,” Mayawati said while speaking at a function here on the occasion of her 55th birthday.

She also said the role of the district police officials would  be investigated to ascertain whether they acted at the behest of the MLA and sent the girl to the jail without verifying the authenticity of the MLA’s charge.

The chief minister said the trial of the rape case against the MLA and his associates would be fast-tracked. Mayawati’s remark was in sharp contrast to the statement by  state cabinet secretary Shashank Shekhar Singh, who stated that the girl would remain in jail and would be prosecuted as the theft charges against her had been found to be true.

The chief minister’s order for the girl’s release, however, came a bit too late and carried little meaning as the Allahabad High Court had already taken suo moto cognisance of the matter and ordered her immediate release. The court also directed the officials to provide adequate security to the girl in view of the threat issued by the MLA.

The MLA was arrested on Thursday about a month after he and two of his accomplices allegedly gangraped the minor when she was at the legislator’s house in Banda.
The chief minister also announced development projects worth over Rs 4,000 crore on this occasion and released her book.

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