Unnao survivor still on ventilator, accident case goes to CBI
As the Unnao rape survivor and her lawyer battled for life on ventilator support at King George’s Medical University (KGMU) in Lucknow, opposition parties, social groups and her family members stepped up pressure on Tuesday on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Uttar Pradesh government for action against incarcerated state lawmaker Kuldeep Singh Sengar, the alleged rapist.
The 19-year-old woman and her lawyer were injured and two of her aunts killed on Sunday in Rae Bareli when a speeding truck rammed the car in which they were travelling. Uttar Pradesh police have booked Sengar, currently in jail in the rape case, his brother and around two dozen others for murder, attempted murder and conspiracy.
Sengar is alleged to have raped the woman at his residence in 2017. The woman’s father died last year in a jail where he was lodged in an alleged false case. An uncle of the girl was convicted this year in a case of attempt to murder and sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment.
The father was allegedly assaulted by the MLA’s brother and his aides after which he was arrested on April 3, 2018. He was not provided proper treatment and was sent to a jail where his condition deteriorated and he succumbed to injuries in judicial custody on April 9.
CBI took over the case on April 12, 2018. So far, 10 people, including the BJP MLA, his brother and two policemen have been arrested by the CBI. All are in jail at present.
On Tuesday, UP principal secretary (home) Arvind Kumar confirmed that CBI will take over the probe into the accident involving the Unnao rape case survivor.
Separately, the family of the rape survivor received some relief on Tuesday when the Allahabad high court allowed one day’s bail to the victim’s uncle, whom the woman, her aunts and lawyer were travelling to see in jail when the truck crashed into their car. The uncle had sought three days’ parole to attend the cremation of his wife, who died in the crash.
The court directed the district administration of Rae Bareli not to make any compromise in providing adequate security to the appellant until he is back in jail.
The cremation will be held in the victim’s village in Unnao on Wednesday, for which security has been reinforced. Members of the National Human Rights Commission may also attend the funeral.
Doctors at KGMU said the condition of the victim was critical and there had been almost no change in her condition since had been put on ventilator 40 hours ago. “But her condition has also not deteriorated further. The lawyer’s condition too remains the same,” said Sandip Tiwari, head of the department of trauma surgery.
On Tuesday, the woman’s mother, sister and cousin sat on a protest outside the KGMU trauma centre, demanding the release of the uncle. The family members alleged that the BJP MLA still flaunted his clout despite being in jail.
Delhi Commission for Women chief Swati Maliwal met the family and lashed out at the Yogi Adityanath government for not airlifting the girl to Delhi and not initiating the process of dismissing Sengar from the legislative assembly. A National Commission for Women (NCW) team led by deputy secretary Jyoti Singhal also met doctors and the family.