Does BJP response to rape charges depend on party affiliation of accused?

Unlike in the case of Samajwadi Party gang rape accused Gayatri Prajapati, BJP has not undertaken any campaign to demand lodging of FIR against its own MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar, accused of gang rape

Photos courtesy: Youtube, PTI
Photos courtesy: Youtube, PTI
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Biswajeet Banerjee

The Bharatiya Janata Party seems to have two rules—one when it is in Opposition and second when it is in power. This has been borne out by it’s approach to the case of Uttar Pradesh BJP MLA from Bangarmau, Kuldeep Singh Sengar, who has been accused of gang raping a woman along with his brother in June last year. Ever since, the family has been running from the pillar to post to get a case registered against Sengar.

Cut to 2016, when Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav was Chief Minister of UP and BJP was in Opposition. Then Mining Minister Gayatri Prajapati was charged with rape of a minor, whose mother was also allegedly gang raped since 2014 by Prajapati and his cohorts. The then government did not lodge cases initially and after the aggrieved family moved Court, a police case was lodged against the minister.

The BJP had then made it a big political issue, forcing Akhilesh Yadav to drop him from the ministry. The party had then highlighted machinations by the minister forcing the police to look the other way as the victims ran from pillar to post.

Both the cases have stark similarities. Here too the BJP law maker and his accomplices including his brother are accused of rape and the police did not lodge a complaint. The BJP which had screamed blur murder during the Gayatri Prajapati case, has started talking about proverbial “law will take its own course”. There is no BJP campaign, as in the case of Prajapati, to lodge an FIR.

What happened in Sengar’s case and the police reaction is nothing less than shocking. On Sunday, when family members of the woman attempted self immolation outside CM Yogi Adityanath’s residence the police claimed action will be taken only after a thorough probe. But next day, when the father of the girl died while in custody, police suspended four cops for dereliction of duty.

On Tuesday morning police spokesman Rahul Srivastava said that “Atul Singh Sengar, brother of BJP MLA, was arrested on Tuesday morning by Lucknow crime branch”. The Hindustan Times reported that Atul Singh Sengar was arrested in connection with the death of the gang rape complainant’s father. The newspaper quoted Srivastava as saying Atul Singh Sengar was arrested for allegedly attacking the woman’s father on April 3 that caused his death later.

Samajwadi Party spokesman Rajendra Chaudhry says if police suspended four cops, this shows that police was at fault of not lodging FIR against Sengar and his cohorts, and asked why "senior officer was told to lie and tried to protect Sengar”. “This incident is clear indication that law and order is very bad and police is ready to go an extra mile to protect BJP leaders and law makers,” claimed Chaudhry to National Herald.

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