There’s jungle raj in state, says Akhilesh Yadav
A road accident in Uttar Pradesh involving the Unnao rape survivor and her family members stoked a political controversy on Monday with some opposition parties urging the Supreme Court to take note of the case, and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) saying the incident was unfortunate.
Four-time BJP legislator from Bangarmau, Kuldeep Singh Sengar, is the main accused in the rape of the woman, who was a minor when the crime was allegedly committed.
A car carrying the survivor, her lawyer and family members collided with a truck in Rae Bareli district on Sunday. The survivor and her lawyer were critically injured and two aunts died.
Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari alleged that the voice of the victim was being suppressed.
“Miscarriage of justice is taking place and the voice of victim is being suppressed. It will stop only when the Supreme Court intervenes,” he told reporters.
Senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi tweeted, “Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao. A new special education bulletin for Indian women. Don’t ask questions if a BJP MLA is accused of having raped you.” He was referring to a central government flagship scheme for education of women.
BJP MP from Unnao, Sakshi Maharaj, termed the incident as “unfortunate and sad” and pointed out that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) was probing the incident.
“This is unfortunate and we are sad. The CBI is already investigating the case and, therefore, making a statement over it won’t be appropriate,” he told reporters in the Parliament House complex.
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra asked why Sengar was still with the BJP.
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Supriya Sule raised the issue in the Lok Sabha during the zero hour, when members can raise important issues.
Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) president Mayawati urged the Supreme Court to take cognisance of the accident. She said prima facie it appears to be a “conspiracy” to kill the survivor.
Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav demanded a CBI probe into the incident. “This incident has links with a BJP MLA and there is a BJP government in the state. There is ‘jungle raaj’ in the state. The criminals are roaming fearlessly. Only a CBI probe will solve this mystery,” he said.
Congress’ chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala alleged that the incident was a conspiracy to kill the survivor.
“Unnao and UP demand justice for the victim of the abominable rape. But instead of justice, what has happened is a conspiracy to kill,” he tweeted. “While her father was killed in police custody, now she has lost her family and is herself battling for her life” Surjewala added.
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee also demanded a high-level inquiry.
Sengar was arrested in 2018 for allegedly raping the teenage girl at his residence in 2017. That case was registered on a complaint by the survivor’s uncle, and the family battled for the one-year period in between.
The woman had attempted to immolate herself outside of the chief minister’s residence on April 8, 2018 to draw attention to the case. Her father died in police custody shortly after, following an assault by Sengar’s brother and a delay by police to take him to a hospital.