BJP’s Kuldeep Singh Sengar sent to 7-day CBI custody in Unnao rape case
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator Kuldeep Singh Sengar, accused of raping a teenager last year, was sent to police custody for seven days by a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court on Saturday, a day after he was arrested by the investigating agency.
The police remand, granted under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, will continue till 10 am on April 21. The lawmaker from Bangarmau in Unnao district has also been charged under Sections 363 and 366 (kidnapping of a minor girl), 376 (rape) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code.
Additional chief judicial magistrate of the CBI court Sunil Kumar also approved judicial remand of the accused from April 21 until April 28.
As he was produced before the court around 4pm, Sengar claimed he was innocent and reposed faith in the “judiciary and God.”
The MLA’s counsel Satyendra Singh did not oppose the CBI’s remand plea, saying, “We are willing to cooperate in the investigation.”
The CBI on Saturday also took into custody Shashi Singh, the woman who allegedly took the victim to the MLA on the day of the crime in June last year.
The victim’s mother, in her complaint to the UP Police, which is now part of the CBI’s first information report ( FIR), alleged that while the MLA was raping her daughter, Singh stood guard outside.
Earlier in the day, the medical examination of the 17-year-old rape victim was conducted at the Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital in Lucknow amid tight security.
A panel of doctors conducted the test for about three hours after a CBI team brought her from Unnao around 11.45am.
“Gynaecological examination was conducted apart from general check-up and X-ray was also done to determine her age,” said a senior doctor of the hospital.
At least a dozen of policemen were seen guarding the hospital’s entrance and nearby areas as the victim was taken inside the examination room flanked by her sister-in-law and a woman constable, who accompanied her from Unnao.
The girl’s family had earlier said they feared for their lives after her father died in police custody on Monday. He was allegedly fatally assaulted by the MLA’s brother, and arrested on charges that he possessed an unlicensed firearm.
Meanwhile, Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav accused state’s director general of police (DGP) and principal secretary (home) of “shielding” the accused MLA. He also demanded imposition of President’s Rule in the state.
“The entire country has seen how they (the officials) were referring to him (the accused) as ‘mananiya’ (respected) at a press conference,” Yadav said.
He said the failure of the state government on the law-and-order front had been completely exposed by the Unnao incident, where “a lawmaker of the ruling party was accused of rape and police were found protecting him.”
In a statement earlier, the SP chief demanded a government job for the victim and a compensation of ₹50 lakh, a house and security cover for her family.