Victim’s uncle seeks PM’s intervention, asks for Sengar’s expulsion from BJP
The uncle of the woman identified as the Unnao rape victim met his lawyers on Wednesday and through their help drafted a five-page letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seeking his intervention in the ordeal that had befallen his family. He urged the PM to expel Bangarmau (Unnao) MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar from the Bharatiya Janata Party.
“BJP MLA Kuldeep Sengar eliminated my entire family,” he said while attending his wife’s last rites at Mishra Ghat in Unnao on Wednesday. He also said that he feared for his own safety.
In the letter, he has alleged that the Unnao police were targeting his family members who were being booked in fake cases. He also mentioned murder cases in which Sengar was allegedly involved as well as details of the MLA’s benami properties worth Rs 500 crore in Noida and other places. In addition, he named certain politicians of different political parties, accusing them of partnering Sengar in his crimes and possession of benami properties.
In another letter, addressed to the district magistrate of Unnao, Devesh Pandey, he has sought to be transferred to the Unnao district jail from Rae Bareli where he is currently lodged in an old attempt to murder case. He said being in Unnao would help him follow up better on the various cases involving him and his family.
The victim’s uncle left Rae Bareli at 5 am to arrive for his wife’s cremation at 1 pm. For a while, he was kept at the Ganga Ghat police station where IG Lucknow SK Bhagat debriefed him. He was brought to the ghat with a 10-member SWAT team and PAC shadowing him.
He also had an argument with the officials who reportedly refused to allow him to speak to the waiting media persons. Initially, he said that he would not perform the last rites unless he was permitted to speak to the media. The face-off lasted for over an hour. He finally agreed to go ahead with the cremation when his kin told him that his sister-in-law’s body would be cremated in Barabanki only after his wife’s last rites were concluded in Unnao.
Meanwhile, his niece, who lost her mother in the accident (the woman who had to be cremated in Barabanki), alleged that the SP and DM of Unnao were supporting the BJP MLA. “Had the police acted on the 37 complaints we sent out to everyone, this tragedy (the accident on Sunday) would not have happened,” she said.
“The only hope for us now is the Supreme Court. We had also written to the Chief Justice of India about the high threat level we were facing and how the police were persecuting my family members,” she added.
The rape victim’s aunt and the girl’s mother were killed during a road accident in Rae Bareli on Sunday. The victim, her lawyer Mahendra Singh and the two deceased women were travelling in a car that was hit by a truck. The group was going to meet the victim’s uncle at the Rae Bareli jail. The victim and her lawyer are, at present, battling for their lives at a hospital in Lucknow.
Last rites of victim’s aunt amid ‘security spectacle’
The aunt of the Unnao rape survivor, who was killed in a car crash in Rae Bareli on Sunday, was cremated at the Mishra Ghat of Unnao at 1 pm on Wednesday, amid a security arrangement that locals said was like a spectacle they had never seen before.
Police said that to prevent any untoward incident from taking place, as the cremation took place in an emotionally charged atmosphere, they had called personnel from all the 18 police stations of Unnao. Apart from that, policemen from Lucknow and Rae Bareli and a company of the Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) were also deployed there. The district’s tactical team (SWAT) provided the inner security ring.
Another reason for this extreme security, said police, was to ensure that the victim’s uncle (husband of the deceased) -- imprisoned in connection with a case lodged in 2000 -- did not escape from the police net during the last rites. He was brought to Unnao from Rae Bareli jail to light his wife’s pyre.
The extent of the security can be gauged from the fact that no other funeral was held on the ghat till the time the victim’s aunt’s last rites were on. Reportedly, more than 10 bodies were sent to Balu Ghat and Pucca Ghat, causing immense difficulties to people.
Not only this, sources said the priest who performed the funeral rituals, the barber and the divers were ‘detained’ around Tuesday midnight to ensure their availability for the cremation of rape victim’s aunt. All of them spent the night at the Ganga Ghat police station.
Policemen patrolled the Ganga too in special boats and snipers were stationed on top of nearby buildings.
Top officials who monitored and managed the security apparatus included inspector general of police (Lucknow range) SK Bhagat, superintendent of police, Unnao, MP Verma, district magistrate Devesh Pandey, chief development officer, additional DM, four area magistrates, one additional SP and seven deputy SPs.
The local intelligence unit (LIU) and policemen working in offices were also tasked to provide real-time feed of developments related to the victim’s family.
“All arrangements were made after giving much thought to what the situation demanded,” said MP Verma, who even barred media persons from the ghat.
The aunt’s body reached Makhi village in Unnao from Lucknow in an ambulance at 6 am on Wednesday. The body was kept at the ancestral house where only a few neighbours came up to offer their condolences. Most of the villagers maintained distance.
Once the funeral procession left the village for Mishra Ghat, about 40km away, only a handful of close relatives accompanied the body.
“The victim’s uncle told her mother and sister to not lose hope and keep up their fight for justice,” said one of his lawyers who did not wish to be named.