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Unnao Rape, Murder Case: Survivor's Kin Allege Foul Play in Key Witness's Death, Family Refutes Charge

Refusing permission to exhume his body, the family of the witness said he passed away because of a liver ailment.


Updated:August 23, 2018, 8:10 PM IST
Unnao Rape, Murder Case: Survivor's Kin Allege Foul Play in Key Witness's Death, Family Refutes Charge
People take part in a candlelight vigil at to demand justice for the victims of Kathua and Unnao rape cases. (PTI)

New Delhi: In a new twist in the Unnao rape and murder case, in which BJP MLA Kuldeep Sengar is an accused, the family of the survivor has alleged foul play in the death of a key CBI witness and asked for his body to be exhumed for an autopsy.

Yunus, who belonged to the minor girl’s village, was a witness in the case of assault on her father. The minor's father died in judicial custody in April this year, allegedly of the injuries he suffered during an assault by Sengar’s brother and his aides. After the assault, 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”.

The deceased's family, however, rubbished the allegations, saying he passed away because of a liver ailment. They also refused to give permission to exhume his body.

A police official who probed the allegation backed the family’s version. He said Yunus had been suffering from liver cirrhosis since 2013 and was being treated in Lucknow and Kanpur but the doctors had eventually given up on him.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi also questioned Yunus’s death, saying he “smelled a controversy”. In a reference to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Gandhi took to Twitter on Thursday 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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