Shhh…Sengar’s men may be around!

Kuldeep Singh Sengar

There was quite a crowd at the funeral of one of the Unnao rape victim’s aunts, who were killed in the July 28 ‘accident’, but few, if anyone, had the courage to step up to the woman’s bereaved husband, who was lodged in jail and had been granted a day’s bail to perform her last rites.

The man is in jail based on a charge made by the brother of the rape-accused MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar in an 18-year-old case.

 “No one wants to be seen with them (the rape victim’s family)”, a member of the crowd whispered to this reporter, “there may be supporters of Kuldeep Sengar here…the MLA may get angry.’’

You can sense the same fear of Sengar in his village, Makhi. Hardly anyone here, barring of course the family of the rape victim, is ready to speak about him. Many whisper that they are not being loyal, but are frightened of him.

Known to be a muscleman, Sengar, who hails from the powerful and influential ‘Thakur’ community, rules the village with an iron hand. His writ runs large across Unnao district.

Sengar, who began his political career as a village panchayat chief three decades ago, is a four-time MLA. He was in the BSP and SP, before joining the BJP. Many of his family members held important positions in the district local bodies.

The MLA’s brother Atul Sengar had once assaulted an IPS officer, who had tried to crack down on his illegal mining business.

Sengar got his supporters to take out rallies across Unnao after he was arrested in connection with the rape case.

The MLA’s supporters, who included block panchayat presidents and local BJP leaders, had taken out rallies at Safipur, Bighapur, Bangarmau and other areas in the district.

The district administration, too, took more than a year to cancel his arms licences.  The BJP did not dare act against him, fearing a backlash, until last week, when public pressure due to the media spotlight on the Unnao case became unbearable. And despite his expulsion from the party, local BJP leaders, including party MLAs, praised Sengar at a meeting in Unnao on Friday.

Sanjay Pandey in UnnaoThere was quite a crowd at the funeral of one of the Unnao rape victim’s aunts, who were killed in the July 28 ‘accident’, but few, if anyone, had the courage to step up to the woman’s bereaved husband,  who was lodged in jail and had been granted a day’s bail to performing her last rites.

The man is in jail based on a charge made by the brother of the rape-accused MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar in an 18-year-old case.

 “No one wants to be seen with them (the rape victim’s family)”, a member of the crowd whispered to this reporter, “there may be supporters of Kuldeep Sengar here…the MLA may get angry.’’

You can sense the same fear of Sengar in his village, Makhi. Hardly anyone here, barring, of course, the family of the rape victim, is ready to speak about him. Many whisper that they are not being loyal, but are frightened of him.

Known to be a muscleman, Sengar, who hails from the powerful and influential ‘Thakur’ community, rules the village with an iron hand. His writ runs large across Unnao district.

Sengar, who began his political career as a village panchayat chief three decades ago, is a four-time MLA. He was in the BSP and SP, before joining the BJP. Many of his family members held important positions in the district local bodies.

The MLA’s brother Atul Sengar had once assaulted an IPS officer, who had tried to crack down on his illegal mining business.

Sengar got his supporters to take out rallies across Unnao after he was arrested in connection with the rape case.

The MLA’s supporters, who included block panchayat presidents and local BJP leaders, had taken out rallies at Safipur, Bighapur, Bangarmau and other areas in the district.

The district administration, too, took more than a year to cancel his arms licences.  The BJP did not dare act against him, fearing a backlash, until last week, when public pressure due to the media spotlight on the Unnao case became unbearable. And despite his expulsion from the party, local BJP leaders, including party MLAs, praised Sengar at a meeting in Unnao on Friday.

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