After Unnao rape complainant is injured in car crash, Congress seeks SC intervention into inquiry
‘Don’t ask questions if a BJP MLA is accused of having raped you,’ Congress leader Rahul Gandhi tweeted.
Several political leaders on Monday alleged a conspiracy behind the car crash involving the Unnao rape complainant in Rae Bareli district of Uttar Pradesh on Sunday afternoon. The Congress demanded that the Supreme Court take note of the incident and intervene in the rape investigation, PTI reported.
The 19-year-old had accused Bharatiya Janata Party MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar of rape last year. The woman was critically injured on Sunday when her car was hit by a truck in Uttar Pradesh. She and her lawyer are in serious condition, while two of her aunts died. The woman’s family has alleged that Sengar and his associates planned the crash.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi mocked the Centre’s “Beti Bachao Beti Padhao” scheme, and said: “A new special education bulletin for Indian women. Don’t ask questions if a BJP MLA is accused of having raped you.”
Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi said the incident was shocking. “Where has the CBI probe in this case reached?” she asked on Twitter. “Why is the accused MLA still in the BJP? Why is there laxity in the security of the victim and the witnesses? Can you hope for any justice from the BJP government without an answer to these questions?”
Congress MP Manish Tewari said: “We demand that the Supreme Court takes note of the incident involving the Unnao rape victim. The ‘miscarriage of justice’ taking place... and the voice of victims being suppressed will stop only when the apex court directly intervenes and takes note of the entire inquiry into the Unnao rape case.”
Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala questioned if there was a “conspiracy of murder” behind the incident. “Unnao and UP wanted justice for the heinous rape,” Surjewala said. “But instead of justice, did we get a conspiracy of murder? Father dies in police custody, now she loses her family and is fighting for her life.”
Citing a line from an Urdu poem, Surjewala added: “[Chief Minister] Adityanath ji, my murderer is my judge, will he rule in my favour?”
Former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati also alleged a conspiracy behind the car crash. “Her two aunts have died and she along with her advocate are grievously injured,” Mayawati said on Twitter. “Supreme Court must take cognisance of the issues and ensure strict action against the accused.”
Samajwadi Party and former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav demanded an inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation. “I will also raise the issue in the Lok Sabha,” ANI quoted Yadav as saying. “Our party’s Rajya Sabha members will also raise it in the Upper House”.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also alleged a conspiracy. “Systematic attempts to eliminate the Unnao rape victim and her family appear to be a pre-planned conspiracy [and] a mockery of rule of law,” he said on Twitter. “How can any civilised society allow such state-sponsored barbarism?”
Communist Party of India (Marxist) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury said: “Beti Bachao! This slogan is a grim warning in this context, which involves a BJP lawmaker and party’s state govt [government]. This is the reality of BJP’s policies towards women.” Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao is an initiative launched by the Centre to address the declining child sex ration and women empowerment.
Shiv Sena leader Priyanka Chaturvedi urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah to intervene and “ensure there is no travesty of justice”. “History will not judge us kindly if justice is not done to the Unnao victim and her family,” she said on Twitter.
Delhi Commission for Women chief Swati Maliwal met the rape complainant at the hospital in Lucknow where she is receiving treatment. She also requested Chief Minister Adityanath to make arrangements to airlift the woman and her lawyer for treatment at a private hospital in Delhi, which she claimed the DCW would bear the expenses of.
“I am deeply disturbed with the state of affairs and the fact that no one from the UP government has even bothered to visit the victim,” she said in her letter to Adityanath. Maliwal also accused the Uttar Pradesh police of trying to present the episode as an accident instead of investigating it.
Meanwhile, Rajya Sabha proceedings were adjourned briefly on Monday after Opposition parties protested about the car crash, PTI reported. Samajwadi Party member Ram Gopal Yadav alleged that an attempt was made to kill the woman.
As members of the Bahujan Samaj Party, Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party protested, chairperson M Venkaiah Naidu said he had asked Union Home Minister Amit Shah to take note of the matter, but the members did not yield.