Facing heat and growing outrage over the alleged involvement of MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar in the rape of an 18-year-old girl in Unnao, the Uttar Pradesh government also decided to register an FIR against the legislator and the other accused.
Unnao rape case latest updates: Congress President Rahul Gandhi will participate in a midnight candlelight vigil at India Gate. Congress workers will take out a march from AICC headquarters in New Delhi at 11 am till India Gate against the Kathua and Unnao rape cases.
The SIT visited the rape survivor and her family for a second time. The team reached the hotel in Unnao where they are staying and is recording a fresh statement of the victim and her family.
The SIT has told the Allahabad High Court that they will arrest Kuldeep Singh Sengar. The court's order is expected to come by 3:30 pm.
According to Prakhar Singh, the nephew of Kuldeep Singh Sengar, the MLA's family has welcomed the Uttar Pradesh government's move to hand over the probe to the CBI and has also demanded a NARCO test be conducted on both the rape survivor and Sengar. "We are saying this from day one that CBI should investigate this matter as all the allegations are false and have been made for political interest," said Prakhar.
The Allahabad High Court on Thursday said that the rape charges against the BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar are very serious and sought a reply from the Uttar Pradesh government on the matter by 2 pm, reported India Today.
Congress members led protests against the Bharatiya Janata Party and rape accused MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar in Lucknow on Thursday. The Congress women's wing was also part of the protests against the alleged inaction by Uttar Pradesh government in the Unnao rape case.
Speaking to the media, Uttar Pradesh home secretary Arvind Kumar said on Thursday the rape survivor did not name the BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar in her statement in 2017.
After the Uttar Pradesh government decided to hand over the probe into the Unnao rape case to CBI on Wednesday night, the young rape survivor expressed her apprehensions and said the accused BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar must be arrested. "Still so many questions are being raised on me, even after my father's murder. How will I get justice? CBI probe is fine but first MLA (Kuldeep Singh Sengar) should be arrested as he will influence the probe. I now fear for my uncle's (father's brother) life," ANI quoted her as saying.
The home secretary and other officials addressing the media kept referring to Kuldeep Singh Sengar as "mananiy vidhayak" (honourable minister). As reporters pointed this out, DGP OP Singh said, "I'm not defending anyone. I referred to him as 'accused'."
According to CNN-News18, the Congress party members will protest against BJP MLA Kuldeep Sengar in Lucknow at 2 pm on Thursday. Sengar is accused of raping a 16-year-old girl in June last year. An FIR into the same was filed on Thursday as well.
Speaking to CNN-News18, accused BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar said that he is confident he will be proved innocent after the CBI probe. "I have full faith in the Yogi Adityanath government. I have done no wrong. I will be proved innocent after CBI probe. I'm willing to cooperate. The rape allegations are baseless," he said.
An FIR has been fired against the rape accused Kuldeep Sengar on Thursday, confirmed SO Rajesh Singh to ANI. The case has been registered at the Makhi police station in Unnao. The case has been registered under several sections of the Indian Penal Code (including Section 376 for rape) and POCSO Act.
Speaking to CNN-News18, BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar said rape accusations hurled at him were a political conspiracy. "I am innocent, everything will be cleared as the matter has been handed over to CBI.This is a political conspiracy against me…my wife has been hospitalised and I am with her..i am ready for any probe," accused MLA said.
In a midnight drama that unfolded after Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah returned to national capital from Lucknow, the rape-accused BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar reached the Senior Superintendent of Police's (SSP) office with two dozens supporters in tow. When confronted by the media, the MLA said that he had come to enquire whether his name had appeared in any of the First Information Reports (FIRs).
The Yogi Adityanath government late on Wednesday night decided to hand over to the CBI the probe into the Unnao rape case in which a BJP MLA is among the accused, on a day when he made a dramatic appearance before the police but refused to surrender.
Facing heat and growing outrage over the alleged involvement of MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar in the rape of an 18-year-old girl, the state government also decided to register an FIR against the legislator and the other accused.
"An FIR be lodged under appropriate sections considering the allegations of rape levied on MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar and others and the investigation be handed over to CBI," the Principal Secretary (Information) said in an statement.
The government has also recommended a CBI probe into the death of the victim's father.
File image of BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar. Twitter @CNNNews18
"Investigation into cross cases pertaining to incidents leading to the death of the victim's father be also handed over to the CBI," the statement read.
The decisions were taken after the Special Investigation Team constituted under Additional Director General of Police (Lucknow zone) to look into the matter submitted its report to the government.
The development came hours after the Allahabad High Court sought the Yogi Adityanath-led state government's stand on the incident on a letter to the court by senior lawyer Gopal Swaroop Chaturvedi detailing the case and posted the matter for hearing on Thursday.
Meanwhile, in a dramatic late night development, Sengar made a surprise appearance outside the Lucknow SSP's residence, triggering speculation that he might surrender, but left the place without handing himself over to the police.
"I came here to show to the media that I am not absconding, and I am very much in Lucknow. I am here, tell me what to do," a visibly unrepentant Sengar told reporters.
He said, "I am a disciplined BJP worker. I am innocent. I am being implicated."
BJP MLA from Bairia in Ballia district, Surendra Singh, made a shocking remark while defending Sengar. He said, “Tell me who will rape a mother of three? He is being falsely implicated."
Earlier in the day, Sangeeta Sengar, the wife of the accused MLA, demanded narco tests on her husband and also the 18-year-old victim, who alleged confinement by local authorities.
The Congress latched on to the case to hit out at the BJP government with party president Rahul Gandhi wondering if Prime Minister Narendra Modi would observe a fast on the alleged rape and death of the complainant's father in custody, which he said "has shamed humanity".
The victim, who had tried to immolate herself outside the chief minister's house just a day before her 50-year-old father died on Monday, alleged that she has been confined to a hotel room by the district administration, leaving her "without a phone or water and guards at every corner".
She also accused the MLA's brother and their henchmen of killing her elder uncle earlier. "I want justice, why are they putting pressure on me for an apology? Do they want my (another) uncle to be killed too?" she told TV channels.
A purported video of the alleged rape survivor's father before his death also went viral and was shown by several TV channels, in which he alleged that he was mercilessly beaten up by the MLA's brother and others, including with rifle butts. It also showed the deceased person's back with serious wounds, but its veracity could not be ascertained.
In the state capital, Sangeeta Sengar, the wife of the accused MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar, told reporters after meeting state police chief OP Singh that there was a political conspiracy against her family and accused the complainant of not being consistent in her statements.
"We demand that a narco test be conducted on my husband and the girl as well as her uncle. This will help in ascertaining the truth and presenting the correct picture. There are political reasons behind this and my husband has been made a pawn," Sangeeta Sengar said. The narco analysis test is a type of psychological investigation.
"My husband is innocent and it is my request that he should not be called a rapist. He has been in politics for the past 15 years and has been serving the society and people," she said, adding that her daughters were unable to concentrate on their studies in the wake of this incident.
She said the allegations against her brother-in-law Atul, who was arrested on Wednesday, were false too.
The MLA's wife, as also the alleged rape survivor, has demanded a CBI probe into the entire matter.
The Congress party demanded the dismissal of the Uttar Pradesh chief minister, alleging that his government was a "Ravan" regime which has failed to protect women.
Taking a swipe at the prime minister's proposed hunger strike over the non-functioning of Parliament, Rahul Gandhi separately tweeted, "The barbarism inflicted on a father seeking justice for his daughter in Uttar Pradesh has shamed humanity. Hope the prime minister will soon observe a fast over atrocities against women, failed law and order and increasing anarchy under the BJP's watch."
The Congress president also posted a purported video in which the woman's father is seen speaking against the BJP MLA.
In the Supreme Court, a bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice DY Chandrachud said it would hear a plea next week for a CBI probe. The plea also alleged that the woman's father was tortured and killed in police custody at the behest of the "ruling party" in the state.
With inputs from PTI