Unnao custodial death: Activists claim it’s a political murder

The Yogi-led UP government has ordered a magistrate probe, when for custodial deaths, judicial inquiry has to be ordered. Activists allege the government is protecting BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Senger

Photo Courtesy: Social Media
Photo Courtesy: Social Media

Biswajeet Banerjee

The Uttar Pradesh government has ordered a magisterial inquiry into the death of the father of a girl, who had stated that she was allegedly gang-raped by Bangarmau BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Senger and his accomplices in Unnao.

Sainger, a Thakur by caste, is said to be close to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and is also in the good books of the Speaker Hridaya Narain Dixit, who is a legislator from Purwa in Unnao district.

State Principal Secretary (Home) Arvind Kumar said on Monday that action would be taken if lapses were found on the part of the police. The man died while in judicial custody and hence a magistrate probe was required, he said.

Human rights activists, however, say it is simply eyewash. Lenin Raghuvanshi of People’s Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR) said it is a political murder and the administration is trying to protect the MLA.

“First thing the government should do is to order a judicial enquiry into the death of that person. Magisterial inquiry is an eye wash. The Supreme Court order says that judicial inquiry is must in custodial deaths and Court’s order should be honoured,” said Raghuvanshi.

Officials said the man Surendra, alias, Pappu, was admitted to hospital on Sunday by the police after he complained of abdominal pain and vomiting. But he died on Monday morning, confirmed Dr Atul, head of the Unnao district hospital.

Eye brows were raised by the way police handled the case. The girl alleged that she was raped in June 2017 and then she had to run from pillar to post to get an FIR lodged. One it was lodged, they refused to take action and they went as far as to allegedly threaten her to withdraw the case. The issue came to light only when the girl and her family tried to immolate in front of CM’s residence on Sunday.

Former UP CM Akhilesh Yadav has demanded the resignation of Adityanath. He tweeted that the death of rape victim’s father is extremely painful. An unbiased and top level investigation should be conducted in this matter. The Chief Minister should resign immediately taking moral responsibility of protection of values of women.

Sources allege that the BJP MLA and his goons beat up Pappu when they had refused to withdraw the gang-rape case against them. He was injured and was convalescing at his home when the police suddenly arrested him five days ago in an old case. Pappu was reportedly lodged in the jail under sections 323, 504 and 506 of the IPC.

Sainger, however, issued a statement claiming he was innocent and was implicated in a false case. “The father and the brother of the girl are criminals. They are history sheeters and police had lodged a number of cases against them in previous few years,” he claimed.

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