Unnao rape case
The Unnao rape case refers to the alleged rape of a 17 year old girl on 4 June 2017. Two separate chargesheets have been filed in the case so far. The first chargesheet was filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation on 11 July 2018, and naming Kuldeep Singh Sengar, a Bhartiya Janata Party Member of the Legislative Assembly from Uttar Pradesh, as an accused in the alleged rape of a 17 year old girl. The second chargesheet was filed on 13 July 2018 and named Kuldeep Singh Sengar and his brother, three policemen and five other people for allegedly framing the Unnao rape survivor’s father.
The rape survivor attempted to immolate herself in front of the residence of Yogi Adityanath, the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, on 8 April 2018. Her father died in judicial custody shortly afterwards. These incidents led to the rape being widely reported in the national media in April 2018. The Unnao rape case and the Kathua rape case received national attention during the same period, leading to joint protests seeking justice for both victims.
The victim stated that she was lured by a woman named Shashi Singh, Nidhi Singh - her minor daughter and Shubham Singh - her son to move to Kanpur, under the pretext of giving her employment. On the night of 11 June 2017, she went with Shubham Singh and after that she was allegedly raped multiple times by him and his driver Awdhesh Tiwari. She was later raped by unknown people and allegedly sold to one Brajesh Yadav for ₹60000. A First Information Report (FIR) was registered under section 363 and 366 of Indian Penal Code (IPC) on 20 June 2017 against Shubham Singh and Awdhesh Tiwari. A day later, Uttar Pradesh Police tracked her down and recovered her from a village in Auraiya. She was sent for a medical examination on the same day. On 22 June 2017, she recorded her statement in front of a Judicial Magistrate under Section 164 of Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) in which she narrated her ordeal and named Shubham Singh, Awdhesh Tiwari, Brajesh Yadav and other unknown assailants for abduction and gangrape. A second FIR was registered later under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) and all the accused were sent to jail.
In an open letter written on 17 August 2017 to the Chief Minister of Uttar Paradesh, Yogi Adityanath, the victim stated that prior to the events of 11 June 2017, she had been raped in the house of Kuldeep Singh Sengar on 4 June 2017 at 8:00 p.m., a Member of the Legislative Assembly of Uttar Pradesh from the Unnao constituency, and a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party. The complaint said that she had entered the house seeking Sengar's assistance in finding employment. Her statement was recorded by the police on 22 June 2017; but the police did not allow her to name her assailant. On 5 April 2018 the woman's father was arrested and placed in judicial custody, allegedly after he was assaulted by supporters of Sengar. A medical examination found injuries consistent with his having been beaten. He stated that Sengar's brother Atul Sengar had led the assault; no action was taken in response to this complaint at that time. Four days later, the victim attempted to immolate herself in front of the residence of Yogi Adityanath, the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, stating that the police had taken no action against the accused. A day later, on 9 April, her father died in hospital of his injuries, leading to the arrest of Atul Sengar, and the suspension of six police officers. The death and the immolation attempt led to widespread outrage, after which a First Information Report (FIR) was registered against Sengar. The state government handed the case over to the Central Bureau of Investigation. The case was shifted to the Allahabad High Court.
On 13 April 2018, Kuldeep Senagar was taken in by the CBI for questioning. Later in the day, on the basis of Allahabad High Court order, he was arrested and new First Information Reports (FIRs) were registered and sent for a week in judicial custody. A second arrest in the case was made on 14 April 2018 of Shashi Singh who allegedly took the survivor to the BJP MLA on the same day as the incident.
The Unnao rape victims uncle who had started a campaign accusing BJP MLA Kuldip Singh Sengar of the rape of his niece and the death of the rape victim's father, his elder brother, in custody, was arrested on 21 November 2018 in an 18 year old gun-firing case.
Aftermath and analysis
The incident made headlines in India in April 2018. The Kathua rape case made headlines during the same period, when charges were filed against the accused; the Kathua rape had occurred in January 2018. Joint protests were held across India demanding justice for both victims. The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, issued a statement condemning the incidents, and stated that justice would take its course.
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