Injured Unnao case lawyer too faced threats; had sought arms licence
Not only the Unnao rape survivor and her family but her lawyer Mahender Singh was also facing threats to his life ever since he took up the high profile case and was also listed as a witness by the Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI), allegedly from the accused MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar and his aides, people close to the family have confirmed.
Both the rape survivor and the lawyer sustained critical injuries, while two of her aunts died, in a car-truck collision in Rae Bareli on Sunday.
“Our worst fear came true on Sunday when all those fighting for justice met with a fatal accident. We had a premonition and hence had been writing to the police — from the station house officer (SHO) to superintendent of police (SP) for security,” said Devendra Singh, kin of the injured advocate.
“He (lawyer) had written to several authorities about threats. When he got no response, he applied for a gun licence in September last year,” said Singh.
However, the police sat on the file; forcing him to write to the district magistrate (DM).
“I fear, I can be murdered,” the lawyer wrote to Unnao DM on July 15, 2019, urging him to issue the arms licence as soon as possible.
In the letter, Singh said that he was an advocate as well as a witness in the Unnao rape case and due to the alleged influence and pressure from the ruling class his application for the gun licence was not getting cleared.
DM Unnao Devendra Kumar Pandey said, “I received a letter from the lawyer regarding arms licence, however, there was no such formal application pending with my office staff. The local police had to complete formalities before it comes to my office.”
On being asked whether the lawyer was facing threat, DM said, “We are examining the case.”
Doctors at Lucknow’s trauma centre said that both the lawyer and the victim were stable but critical and were on the ventilator support.