Lucknow: The father of an 18-year-old woman, who had alleged rape by BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar and his brothers, died in police custody on Monday, prompting her to put the blame on the lawmaker, who rejected the charge as a conspiracy.
The family of the girl, who had tried to immolate herself outside CM Yogi Adityanath's house on Sunday, is alleging that the father was killed inside the jail by supporters of the BJP MLA, a charge rubbished by him. Six policemen have been suspended and the government as well as the police have assured a speedy probe.
The girl’s now deceased father, aged around 50, was sent to Unnao Jail after an altercation with the BJP MLAs younger brother and the leader’s supporters on April 5. He was shifted to the district hospital by jail authorities after complaints of abdominal pain and vomiting. He died in the early hours of Monday but the reasons behind his death could not be ascertained.
Talking to the media, Unnao district hospital’s Dr Atul said, “The man was admitted to the hospital late last night after he complained of abdominal pain and vomiting. He passed away in the early hours of Monday.”
The news of his death spread like wildfire with opposition parties slamming the BJP government even as Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath promised action against the guilty.
Chief Minister Adityanath sought a report on the incident and assured those found guilty will be punished. "The incident is unfortunate. ADG, Lucknow, has been asked to give his report and probe the matter, and if any policeman is found guilty, action will be taken. Whosoever is guilty will not be spared," Adityanath said.
District Magistrate Ravi Kumar NG said the post-mortem examination of the victim would be conducted by a panel of doctors to ascertain the exact cause of death.
The victim, however, claimed her family had received threats in the past and accused the MLA. He was "killed at the behest of the BJP MLA" inside the jail, she alleged. "We were getting threats and they killed my father," she added while speaking to reporters.
UP Director General of Police O P Singh said a Lucknow Police team had been constituted to probe the entire matter. "Whosoever is found guilty, strict action will be taken. None will be spared," he said. Asked about the allegations against MLA Sengar, the DGP said, "Till now these are allegations. Probe is on. Action will be taken against those found guilty."
Speaking to News18, BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar has said that was all part of a political conspiracy to defame him and only a proper investigation into the matter will reveal the facts.
“I request the administration and police to conduct a proper investigation in this matter. I am sure facts will reveal the conspiracy to defame me. I am being defamed from pillar to post and a political conspiracy cannot be ruled out. I would wait for the official report on the matter.”
Attacking the BJP government, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav said in a tweet, "In (UP) state a girl, going for coaching classes is being shot dead...Another girl accusing BJP MLA of gangrape tried to immolate herself in front of CM's residence after disappointment from the government. Is this fear of government of 'encounter' that instead of criminals, woman are getting terrified?(sic)"
He also demanded the resignation of Yogi Adityanath. "The painful custodial death of the father of the victim, who tried to kill herself outside the Chief Minister's residence, is very sad. A high-level prove should be ordered into the matter and taking moral responsibility, the Chief Minister should resign immediately," he wrote.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi also slammed the police inaction. "A young woman accuses the MLA of rape. Instead of arresting the MLA, the police takes the father of the girl into custody. Immediately after that, he dies. The accused BJP MLA is still roaming free," he tweeted, tagging a news report on the case.