By Sunil Garodia
Ever since the Unnao rape victim disclosed her ordeal at the hands of BJP MLA Kuldeep Sengar (from Bangermau constituency in UP) and had the courage to lodge an FIR against them, she and her family have been subjected to various kinds of harassment. The latest is the accident in which she and her lawyer have been critically injured and her maternal and paternal aunts have been killed. The accident happened when the car in which they were travelling collided head-on with a speeding truck on the highway near Rae Bareilly. The security person provided to the girl was conspicuously not travelling with them that day. The police have said that prima facie it seems to be a case of an accident and have ruled out foul play. But the number plate of the truck was blacked out and the family suspects that Sengar and his henchmen are behind the mishap to kill the girl. The police have said that they are investigating why the security person was absent and how the truck's number plate was blackened. The state DGP OP Singh said they would hand over the case to the CBI if the girl's family demands it.
The sequence of events after the girl first complained proves that it takes a lot of courage and perseverance for a common person to take on the high and mighty in India. Sengar is not a known face, not even in UP, but this case proves his clout. Imagine the plight of a common person if the adversary was someone stronger. For one year, the girl and her family did not get any hearing, let alone justice. It was only after the girl and her mother tried to immolate themselves outside UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath's residence and the event was covered by the national media, drawing outrage across the nation, that the wheels of justice started turning. Sengar was arrested and is in jail since then. But later, the girl's father was arrested, badly tortured and beaten in custody. He died of his injuries later on. The girl's family alleged that Sengar's brother Atul Sengar and his henchmen were involved. The family also alleges that despite Sengar being in jail, they receive threat calls on a daily basis.
It is time to put a stop to what is happening to the girl and her family. The BJP must first suspend the MLA and then the party and the state administration must act decisively to tell Sengar and his henchmen that if even one more unforeseen event happens with the girl or her family, if the family proves the receipt of even one more threat call or are harassed in any other way, the full might of the administration will be let loose on them. It is sad that the rape accused who has been jailed for so long is still not suspended by the BJP. It gives the impression that the party is with him. Why is the party bent on protecting a small fry and a known turncoat (he has changed parties three times, from the BSP to the Samajwadi and then to the BJP) like Sengar? On the one hand, the NDA government has strengthened the POCSO Act by providing for more stringent punishments for crimes against children while on the other the BJP has taken no action against a person accused of molesting a 17-year old. This double standard will not do.