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U.P. rape victim’s dad dies in custody

Picture used for representational purpose.   | Photo Credit: Sushil Kumar Verma

The father of the minor girl from Unnao in Uttar Pradesh who had levelled allegations of gang-rape against a BJP MLA, died in judicial custody on Monday, almost a week after he was allegedly thrashed by supporters of the legislator.

Following the incident, police arrested four persons, who are accomplices of the MLA and were prima facie accused of assaulting the girl’s father. Two police officers and four constables, were also suspended for negligence.

This came a day after the girl, along with her family members, threatened to commit suicide outside the Chief Minister’s House here.

Job as a ruse

According to her, Bangermau MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar raped her on June 17 last year, along with his accomplices, after she was taken to his house by a woman identified as Rashi Singh under the pretext of getting a job.

 

She alleged that the MLA and his brother were intimidating the family to withdraw the case, and on April 3 her father was thrashed by the MLA’s supporters while he was on his way to a court. Though both sides filed complaints against each other, the police chose to arrest her father, who was sent to judicial custody.

Late on Sunday, the father was rushed to hospital after he complained of vomiting and abdominal pain. He died in the early hours of Monday.

In an application filed in court by the victim’s mother in February, the girl alleged that when she protested the rape, the MLA “threatened he would get her family members killed and dumped somewhere if she told anyone about it.”

A magisterial probe will be conducted into the death in judicial custody, while Inspector General of Lucknow Range will probe the entire matter, including the rape charges as well as the reluctance of the police in booking the MLA and his brother.

A panel of three doctors has also been constituted to conduct the post-mortem, said DIG Law and Order Praveen Kumar.

UP DGP O.P. Singh said a police team from Lucknow had left for Unnao to investigate the case. “Action will be taken against whoever is found guilty in the probe,” U.P.’s top cop said.

MLA denies charges

Dismissing all allegations, Mr. Sengar, who was summoned to Lucknow by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, said he was being framed.

Raising the issue on Twitter, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi said the father had to die to protect his daughter. “A young girl charges a BJP MLA of rape. Instead of arresting the MLA, the police takes the father of the girl in their custody. Soon after the man dies in their custody. And the accused MLA is even now roaming free,” Mr. Gandhi said.

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2021 1:15:32 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/rape-victims-dad-dies-in-custody/article23484315.ece

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