Unnao rape: All you need to know about the incident

Girl students and women take part in a protest demonstration seeking justice for the victims of Kathua and Unnao rape cases, in Kolkata on Wednesday. PTI Photo

What is it and who was involved?

In June 2017, a minor girl in the Unnao district of Uttar Pradesh was allegedly raped by BJP MLA Kuldeep Sengar, his brother and other accomplices, after she had approached the lawmaker for a job. 
 
The victim’s family reported the incident to the police and according to the family, the authorities refused to file an FIR. And so, the family filed a case in court. 
 
The incident came to light on April 8, 2018, when the girl attempted to immolate herself in front of UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s residence, reportedly due to police inaction.
 
Five days before that, the victim’s father was beaten when he confronted the MLA’s family. Although there were complaints filed by both the family and the MLA, the police acted only on one and arrested the father in connection with an Arms Act case.
 
The father died in judicial custody at the district hospital where he was admitted and the post-mortem report showed that he had 14 injuries on his body. It happened a day after the girl tried to burn herself.

 

Progress in the case:

 Atul Singh Sengar, the brother of BJP Bangarmau MLA Kuldeep Sengar being arrested by UP police, a day after the father of a rape victim from Unnao died in judicial custody in Unnao, Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday. (PTI Photo)
 Atul Singh Sengar, the brother of BJP Bangarmau MLA Kuldeep Sengar being arrested by UP police,
a day after the father of a rape victim from Unnao died in judicial custody in Unnao, Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday. (PTI Photo)

- Following the father’s death, the MLA’s brother, Atul Singh Sengar, was arrested along with four associates of the MLA, by the UP Crime Branch. A high-level inquiry was ordered into the incident.

Atul was charged under Section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), Sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace) of the Indian Penal Code.
 
- Rajiv Krishan, Additional Director General of Police, Lucknow, ordered a probe by the Lucknow police and the victim was made to appear before him.
 
- A special investigation team was formed to probe the alleged rape case as well as the custodial death of the father.
 
- The National Human Rights Commission subsequently issued a notice to the UP government, the state’s police chief, the chief secretary and the director-general of police, asking for a detailed report of the case. They also requested that “the aggrieved family is not subjected to further harassment”.
 
- The UP government ordered the police to hand over the case to the CBI and the BJP MLA was eventually arrested on April 12, 2018. CBI submitted a status report on the case on May 2, 2018.

BJP MLA from Unnao Kuldip Singh Sengar, accused in a rape case, outside the office of the Senior Superintendent of Police in Lucknow on Wednesday night. (PTI Photo)
BJP MLA from Unnao Kuldeep Singh Sengar, accused in a rape case, outside the office of the
Senior Superintendent of Police in Lucknow on Wednesday night. (PTI Photo)

 
Deaths tied to the case:

- In August 2018, a key witness in the case - Yunus Khan – died in his village. He was buried in the village without informing the CBI, which was running the investigation.

- The local police said that the witness suffered from a liver ailment, which caused his death.
 
- On July 28, 2019, the car of the victim’s family was hit by a truck and the victim’s two aunts were killed. The girl and her lawyer suffered critical injuries.
 
 

National outrage:

Massive protests were organised in various parts of the country. It was called the 'Not In My Name' campaign to demand justice for the victims of Kathua and Unnao rape cases.

People participate in a candle light vigil as they protest against the rape of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua near Jammu, and a teenager in Unnao, Uttar Pradesh state, in Bengaluru. (Reuters File Photo)
People participate in a candle light vigil as they protest against the rape of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua near Jammu,
and a teenager in Unnao, Uttar Pradesh state, in Bengaluru. (Reuters File Photo)

A man beats an effigy of one of the rapists at a protest against the rape of an eight-year-old girl, in Kathua, near Jammu, a teenager in Unnao, Uttar Pradesh state, and an eleven-year-old girl in Surat, in Ahmedabad. (Reuters File Photo)
A man beats an effigy of one of the rapists at a protest against the rape of an eight-year-old girl, in Kathua, near Jammu,
a teenager in Unnao, Uttar Pradesh state, and an eleven-year-old girl in Surat, in Ahmedabad. (Reuters File Photo)

People participate in a protest against the rape of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua near Jammu, and a teenager in Unnao, Uttar Pradesh state, in Amritsar. (File Photo: Reuters)
People participate in a protest against the rape of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua near Jammu,
and a teenager in Unnao, Uttar Pradesh state, in Amritsar. (File Photo: Reuters)

 A U-turn by the UP police:

Hours after virtually giving a clean chit to Unnao rape accused BJP legislator Kuldeep Senger, the Uttar Pradesh police did a U-turn and booked the lawmaker for murder in connection with Sunday's alleged ''road accident'' in which two persons, including the aunt of the victim, were killed.

In connection to the victim's accident on Sunday, an FIR against Senger and nine others was registered at Gurubuxganj police station in Raebareli, according to police sources here. They have been charged under sections 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder) and 120 B (criminal conspiracy).

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