Bharatiya Janata Party MP Sakshi Maharaj on Wednesday visited the party’s rape-accused MLA from Bangarmau in Uttar Pradesh’s Unnao district, Kuldeep Singh Sengar, at the Sitapur district jail, PTI reported.

Maharaj, who represents Unnao in Parliament, said he wanted to thank the MLA after his Lok Sabha election victory. “He has been lodged in jail for a long time,” ANI quoted Maharaj as saying. “Sengar is one of the most popular lawmakers so I came to thank him after the elections.” The parliamentarian talked to Sengar for close to 40 minutes, Amar Ujala reported.

Commenting on the “Jai Shri Ram” controversy in West Bengal, where BJP suppoters were detained by the police for chanting the slogan in front of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Maharaj said the incident reminded him of mythological character Hiranyakashipu.

“When we talk of West Bengal, I remember the demon king Hiranyakashipu, who had put his son behind bars and tortured him for saying ‘Jai Shri Ram’,” News18. quoted Maharaj as saying “This is being repeated in Bengal and it seems that Mamata Banerjee belongs to the family of Hiranyakashipu because she jails anyone who chants ‘Jai Shri Ram’.”

Case against Sengar

Kuldeep Singh Sengar was arrested on April 13, 2018, after a 16-year-old girl accused him of raping her in June 2017, when she visited his home to ask for a job. The complainant accused the police of not taking any action when she approached them after the alleged incident.

Four days before the MLA’s arrest, the complainant’s father died of severe injuries in judicial custody. He had been booked under the Arms Act.

The following month, Sengar was booked in a new case of criminal conspiracy after the Central Bureau of Investigation took over the inquiry. The investigating agency also arrested two sub-inspectors of the state police in connection with the death of the complainant’s father.