Ex-IPS officer held for 'abetting' rape victim suicide

Ex-IPS officer Amitabh Thakur held for 'abetting' suicide of rape victim, her friend

He had announced his plans to float a political outfit ahead of the 2022 Uttar Pradesh Assembly poll

Former IPS officer Amitabh Thakur at Hazratganj Police Station after he was arrested. Credit: PTI Photo

Within hours of announcing his plans to float a political outfit ahead of the 2022 Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls, former IPS officer Amitabh Thakur was arrested from his residence in Lucknow on Friday on serious charges, including abetment of suicide of a rape victim and her friend in Delhi recently.

The 24-year-old woman, who had accused Bahujan Samaj Party MP Atul Rai of rape in May 2019, died on August 24 after she and her friend Satyam Rai set themselves afire outside the Supreme Court complex on August 16.

Before the suicide, both had shared their pain on social media with the people.

Also Read | Former IPS officer Amitabh Thakur to float political party ahead of UP polls

A video showed Amitabh Thakur resisting arrest and trying to clamber on to the roof of the police vehicle outside his residence. He was heard saying, "I will not go unless I am given a copy of the FIR." He was then shoved into the vehicle.

In a tweet, the former IPS officer said, "The police have forcibly taken me to Hazratganj Kotwali without giving any reason."

After his arrest, Amitabh Thakur was taken to a hospital for medical examination and produced in the CJM court before being sent to jail, Hazratganj police said.

Lucknow Police Commissioner DK Thakur confirmed that the former IPS officer has been arrested in a case registered after the death of the rape victim.

Director General of Police Mukul Goel in a statement on Friday said, "In connection with the self-immolation attempt by the victim and her aide before the Supreme Court on August 16, the government had constituted an inquiry committee which in its interim investigation report, found BSP MP from Ghosi, Atul Rai and Amitabh Thakur prima facie guilty of abetting the victim and her associate witness to commit suicide and of other charges and also recommended registering a case against them."

He said following this, a case has been registered against MP Atul Rai and Amitabh Thakur and the investigation has been started. Amitabh Thakur has been arrested during the course of probe, the DGP said.

It has been alleged in the report that a total of seven cases were registered by the accused, Atul Rai, against the victim and her witness. It also claimed that Amitabh Thakur took money from Atul Rai for fabricating false evidence against the rape victim for maligning her image and inciting the woman to commit suicide.

According to police sources, the case has been registered under section 120-B (conspiracy), 195-A (intimidation to produce false evidence), 218 (preparation of false record by public servant to save any person from punishment), 306 (abetment to suicide), 504 (breach of public peace) and 506 (intimidation) against MP Atul Rai and Amitabh Thakur on a complaint of Senior Sub-Inspector Dayashankar Dwivedi in Hazratganj Kotwali on the instructions of the inquiry committee.

Also Read | Woman who had set herself ablaze outside Supreme Court dies

Meanwhile, the family of the rape victim in Ballia told newspersons that they had hope of getting justice under the Yogi Adityanath government.

The brother of the victim said that the family would decide on further strategy after seeing what action is taken by the government.

"The family wants justice for her as it is for justice that she gave her life. She kept fighting for justice everywhere but to no avail," the brother said.

Earlier, her grandfather had accused the BSP MP Atul Rai of threatening the family by sending his aides to their house.

Reacting to Amitabh Thakur's arrest, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav lashed out at the BJP government in the state.

"The BJP's politics survives only by creating rifts among people. Now due to the pressure of the BJP government, the police are compelled to work against the police. Such a treatment to a retired IPS is unforgivable," he tweeted in Hindi.

The former Uttar Pradesh cadre IPS officer on Friday morning had announced that he would soon form a new political party.

Amitabh Thakur was given compulsory retirement ahead of time by the government and he had announced to contest against Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in the assembly elections to be held early next year.

He was given compulsory retirement on March 23 in "public interest" following a decision taken by the Union Home Ministry. 

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