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Body of Unnao Rape, Murder Case Witness Exhumed, Kin Attempt Immolation in Protest

Protesting against the exhumation, Yunus's kin reached the residence of chief minister Yogi Adityanath and tried to immolate themselves, saying the process was carried out without their consent

Qazi Faraz Ahmad | News18.com@qazifarazahmad

Updated:August 25, 2018, 10:56 PM IST
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Body of Unnao Rape, Murder Case Witness Exhumed, Kin Attempt Immolation in Protest
The body of witness Yunus being exhumed.
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Lucknow: The district administration on Saturday exhumed the body of Yunus, the key CBI witness in the Unnao rape and murder case, whose mysterious death and quiet burial was questioned by the survivor’s family and in political circles.

Yunus, who belonged to the minor girl’s village, was a witness in the case of assault on her father by BJP MLA Kuldeep Sengar’s brother and aides. Sengar is an accused in the rape case.

The minor's father died in judicial custody in April this year, allegedly of the injuries he suffered during the assault. After the attack, he was arrested by the Unnao police for illegal possession of arms and sent to judicial custody on a complaint by the MLA’s side.

Yunus’s death came to light when the survivor’s uncle alleged that his body was buried hurriedly without an autopsy. Demanding that the body be exhumed, he added that the witness’s family did not inform the police or the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) about his death. In an application to the police and the agency, he alleged that Yunus was “murdered as part of a conspiracy”.

On Saturday, the district administration reached the deceased’s residence in Makhi village along with several police personnel and dug up the grave again in the presence of a team of doctors, a pharmacist and the ‘sheher qazi’.

Protesting against the exhumation, Yunus's kin reached the residence of chief minister Yogi Adityanath to complain that the process was carried out without their consent. The deceased’s wife Shabina Khatoon, along with other family members, tried to immolate themselves, saying Islam did not permit the re-digging of a grave.

The family has maintained that Yunus died of a liver ailment. Shabina had given a written application, stating that her husband had been suffering from a liver disorder since 2012 and had received treatment in Unnao, Kanpur and Lucknow. She added that her husband was critical for the past one month and passed away on August 18.

Speaking to News18, Unnao SP Harish Kumar had said, “The wife of the deceased gave a written letter informing about her husband’s death. She also wrote that she was offered Rs 8 lakh by the survivor’s uncle to sign some paper. An investigation has been ordered in the issue and action will be taken once the report is out. As of now, she does not suspect any foul play in her husband’s death.”

The issue also made its way to political circles, with Congress president Rahul Gandhi saying he “smelled a controversy”. In a reference to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Gandhi took to Twitter to ask ‘Is this your idea of “justice for our daughters”, Mr 56?’

In her complaint, the minor’s mother had said that on April 3, when her husband came to attend the court in Unnao in connection with the rape case, the MLA’s brother and aides abused him and brutally assaulted him, which left him with serious injuries eventually leading to his death in judicial custody. A panel of doctors had concluded after the post mortem that the minor’s father died due to “shock and septicemia”.
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