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Rediff.com  » News » Unnao case: CBI arrests Kuldeep Sengar after questioning for 16 hrs

Unnao case: CBI arrests Kuldeep Sengar after questioning for 16 hrs

Last updated on: April 13, 2018 23:01 IST

Earlier, the Allahabad HC rapped the Uttar Pradesh government saying the law and order machinery and officials were directly under the MLA's influence.

IMAGE: Activist from the left parties participate in a protest over government's alleged inaction in Kathua and Unnao rape incidents, in Mumbai on Friday. Photograph: Shashank Parade/PTI Photo

The Central Bureau of Investigation on Friday night arrested Bharatiya Janata Party MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar in connection with the alleged rape of a minor girl in Unnao district of Uttar Pradesh, officials said.

Sengar was taken into custody after intense questioning for 16 hours by a CBI team at its office on Naval Kishore Road in Lucknow.

He was brought to the office at around 5 AM today, the officials said in New Delhi.

Earlier in the day, the Allahabad high court ordered his immediate arrest, saying he was 'influencing' the law and order machinery.

 

As the Opposition upped the ante accusing the ruling BJP of shielding perpetrators of heinous crimes against women, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asserted that no criminal will be spared and justice will be done to daughters of the nation.

Facing flak over the delay in taking action against his MLA in the nearly year-old rape case, UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said his government will not deviate from its zero-tolerance policy on crime and that it would firmly deal with criminals, no matter how influential they might be.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi, who led a midnight march on Thursday night in the national capital to protest the rape cases, hit out at the prime minister over his silence on violence against women and children, saying India was waiting for him to 'speak up' and asked why accused rapists and murderers were 'protected' by the state.

Earlier in the day, hearing a petition in the case of the alleged rape of the 17-year-old Unnao girl, the Allahabad high court directed the CBI to arrest Sengar, MLA from Bangarmau assembly in Unnao district, saying the law and order machinery and officials were directly under his influence.

A bench of Chief Justice D B Bhosale and Justice Suneet Kumar gave the direction to the agency after the counsel for the Uttar Pradesh government informed it that Sengar has been detained for interrogation and not arrested yet.

It directed CBI to arrest forthwith Sengar and the other accused named in the first information report and carry out further investigation.

It also directed the agency to file status report by May 2.

IMAGE: BJP MLA from Unnao Kuldip Singh Sengar. Photograph: Nand Kumar/PTI Photo

Taking a strong objection to the UP government's submission that Sengar would not be arrested on mere registration of the FIR, the court said this approach is 'not only appalling but shocks the conscience of the court in the backdrop of the instant case'.

The bench passed the order on a letter written by senior advocate Gopal Swaroop Chaturvedi demanding a court-monitored investigation of the incident and treated it as a public interest litigation.

The court also said the father of the girl was 'beaten up by the brother and the goons of' of the MLA, was arrested and beaten mercilessly in the custody, while false cases were lodged against family members.

On Friday, soon after taking over the case, the CBI brought Sengar to its office in Lucknow at around 5 am for questioning.

A team also visited the crime scenes in Makhi village and examined family members, witnesses and hospital officials where the rape victim and her father were taken for treatment.

The victim has alleged that she was raped by the MLA at his residence on June 4, 2017 where she had gone with a relative seeking a job.

In February, the girl's family moved court seeking to include the MLA's name in the rape case.

After this move, the victim's father was booked by the police under the arms act on April 3 this year and put in jail on April 5.

Alleging inaction and coercion from powerful people, the victim attempted self immolation in front of the CM's house on April 8 and the next day, her father died in jail with post-mortem report suggesting serious injuries on his body.

Faced with the embarrassment of its own MLA being involved in the case, the state government had referred the matter to the Centre on Thursday for CBI probe -- a day before Allahabad high court was to pronounce its order.

Sengar, a four-term MLA, enjoys immense clout cutting across party lines in the rural areas around Unnao district, a semi-urban area about 70 km from Lucknow.

The case has already led to a political slugfest between the BJP and other parties and former UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav said the people of state are living in the state of fear.

BJP's Meenakshi Lekhi accused the opposition parties of doing 'dangerous politics' over the Kathua and Unnao cases, claiming these two incidents were being 'selectively' highlighted to target the BJP and a similar rape-and-murder case of a minor girl in Assam did not get similar prominence.

Another party leader Siddharth Nath Singh raised the famous Tandoor murder case of 1995, involving a Congress leader at that time.

Union minister Smriti Irani said stern action will be taken against those found guilty in the Unnao rape case and condemned any efforts to 'politicise' such cases.

Her cabinet colleague Maneka Gandhi proposed death penalty for rape of children below 12 yrs and changes to POCSO Act.

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