Women of Unnao rape survivor’s family led her fight against Kuldeep Sengar
The survivor’s two sisters, mother, grandmother and aunt faced the media, the police and the CBI on her behalf. They represented her case before the police and in court with unflinching vehemence.Updated: Dec 17, 2019 01:39 IST
The women of her family were a pillar of strength for the Unnao rape survivor during her battle for justice that spanned two-and-a-half years and they helped take the fight to its logical conclusion despite many setbacks, a relative from Rae Bareli said.
The survivor’s two sisters, mother, grandmother and aunt faced the media, the police and the CBI on her behalf. They represented her case before the police and in court with unflinching vehemence.
In the process, her grandmother died owing to natural causes, two aunts were killed in a road accident in July this year and her father fell prey to a savage assault a year earlier, allegedly by the brother of convicted MLA Kuldeep Sengar.
The father was allegedly framed in an illegal arms case and arrested on April 3, 2018. He died while in judicial custody a few days later, on April 9. A court has framed murder and other charges against the MLA, his brother Atul and nine others in the case.
A Delhi court on Monday convicted Kuldeep Sengar for raping the victim who was 16 years old at the time of the crime in 2017.
Last year, when she attempted self-immolation outside the chief minister’s residence in Lucknow and demanded the MLA’s arrest, her family rallied around her. Her grandmother, in particular, became the face of the fight as did her sisters.
“After the (rape survivor’s) uncle was jailed; the women pursued the case in court,” said a relative.
Her aunt and mother used to meet the lawyers, police officers and attend court hearings. They sent complaints to the authorities.
Two aunts were killed when a truck hit the rape survivor’s car in Rae Bareli on July 28, 2019, leaving her and her lawyer critically injured.
At this time, apart from her sisters, two cousins took matters into their hands.
“They all had taken a pledge to bring an end to Sengar’s might. They succeeded with sheer grit. More than the men of the family, it is the women who fought with courage and conviction,” he said.
SILENCE IN MAKHI
After the verdict was pronounced, silence prevailed in Makhi village where people were not ready to speak either about the victim or Sengar.
There was no one at the house of the survivor, but a servant. Sengar’s house, which is close by, wore a deserted look in the village. Some policemen were seen at his Unnao residence.
Before the verdict, Santosh Kumar, the station house officer of Makhi police station, patrolled the village, appealing to people to maintain peace.
Villagers discussed the fate of the MLA among themselves and when they were asked about their opinion on the conviction, they chose to remain silent. Police had beefed up the security of all 13 witnesses in the case. Every one of them was given an individual gunner and security was further tightened with the deployment of additional men.