Shahjahanpur woman, who accused BJP MLA of rape, threatens to immolate self
The Yogi Adityanath government finds itself in a fresh controversy after the Unnao rape case with a Shahjahanpur woman threatening to immolate herself if the son of a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lawmaker is not arrested for allegedly raping her in 2012.
The BJP MLA, Roshan Lal Verma, was then a legislator with the Bahujan Samaj Party. He joined the BJP in 2017.
“I want both Roshan Lal Verma (the BJP MLA from Tilhar constituency in Shajahanpur) and his son Manoj Verma behind bars. The local administration has asked me to wait till May 21; if they don’t taken action by then, I am going to immolate myself the same day,” said the 28-year-old woman.
Accompanied by her father, brother and five-year-old daughter, the woman barged into a press conference called by the MLA to clarify the charges against him and his son at a Shahjahanpur hotel.
She was escorted out of the venue by local police, following which she squatted on the road outside the hotel to register her protest.
“I am receiving death threats from the ‘goons’ of Verma. I have sent letters to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and chief minister Yogi Adityanath to provide security and justice, which has been denied to me all these years,” she said.
According to her, the BJP MLA and his elder son Manoj abducted her on February 24, 2012 when she was coming back from school around 4 pm, gagged and blind-folded her and took her to a secluded house. “I was raped by Manoj on the same day and kept in confinement for nine days. But then I managed to escape with the help of Vinod (Manoj’s younger brother),” she recalls.
The two tied the knot in a court marriage in July the same year. Vinod, she says, has now deserted her.
“The marriage has no legal status in the eye of the law as Vinod was already married and has not divorced his first wife from whom he has two sons,” pointed out the BJP MLA.
The three-time lawmaker claims that the woman married his son as she had an eye on his property and businesses. He adds that he had already disowned Vinod in 2011. “The CB-CID (crime branch-criminal investigation department) has already investigated the charges against me and my son found them fake,” he said adding that the 2012 case was now being raised by the opposition Samajwadi Party to malign his image.
The CB-CID had filed a closure report citing lack of evidence. “This final report by the CB-CID has been turned down by the court, which has asked now asked superintendent of police, CB-CID, Bareillym to probe the matter further,” says Avdhesh Singh, the woman’s lawyer. He said the initial report by the local police had indicted both father and son and claimed they were not arrested because of Verma’s clout in the region.
The Unnao case refers to the alleged rape of a minor, in 2017 by a BJP MLA . The case is currently being investigated by the CBI.