Trigger Warning: Sexual Violence and Rape
Recent reports on the television that make the Unnao rape case resemble something out of a film is actually not fictional, but rather a harsh reality that is presently happening in our society. Let us look at the timeline and progression of this case that has repeatedly send chills down our spines.
4th June: A 16 years old girl alleges that she was raped in the house of a four time BJP MLA, Kuldeep Sengar, who represents Bangermau in the UP Assembly at his residence. She was lured to go to his place by a woman named Shashi Singh and her children, minor daughter Nidhi Singh and son, Shubham Singh on the pretext of getting a job.
11th June: The girl goes missing.
20th June: Her family registers an FIR under Sections 363 and 366 of IPC against Shubham Singh and his driver Awdhesh Tiwari.
21st June: UP Police tracked her down and recovered her from a village in Auraiya. She was sent for a medical examination on the same day.
22nd June: The police produce her before the court and her statement is recorded under Section 164 of Code of Criminal Procedure o(CrPC). She narrated her ordeal and named Shubham Singh, Awdhesh Tiwari, Brajesh Yadav (the person whom she was sold for money) and other unknown assailants for abduction and gang rape. However, the reports did not mention the name of Sengar at that point of time.
3rd July: She is handed over to the family members after 10 days. She leaves for Delhi alleging police harassment. She starts sending complaints to the CM’s office and senior police officers seeking registration of rape case against the MLA and his brother Atul Singh.
17th August: In an open letter addressed to the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, 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.
The victim was travelling to Rae Baereli jail with her aunts to meet her uncle who was jailed last year. Her lawyer was driving the car. Although, their family had been provided with security following the rape incident, it is again mysterious as to why they did not avail or rather could not avail security yesterday.
24th February: The girl’s mother moves the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM), Unnao, seeking registration of FIR under Section 156 (3) of CrPC.
3rd April: Court hears the mother’s plea. The girl’s father comes down to Unnao with family for hearing in the case. The same evening, he is allegedly assaulted by Atul Singh and his aides in Makhi. The man is handed over to the police who lodge a case under Section 25 (illegal possession of firearm).
5th April: The girl’s father is sent to jail after medical examination at the district hospital. The girl’s father alleges he was framed and beaten up by the MLA’s brother. No action is taken on his complaint.
8th April: The girl attempts self-immolation in front of the CM’s residence in Lucknow, demanding FIR against the MLA.
9th April: The girl’s father dies at the district hospital hours after he is shifted from district jail. Six policemen are suspended, magisterial probe ordered.
The death and the immolation incidents lead to widespread outrage across the state and country following which an FIR was registered against Sengar for the very first time since the rape took place in June, 2017. Also, the state government had to hand over the case to CBI.
11th July: CBI filed the first charge sheet against the MLA and a private person (a woman) resident of Makhi, District-Unnao (Uttar Pradesh) Under Sections 363, 366, 376 (i), 506 of the Indian Penal Code and Sections 3 and 4 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) Act.
13th July: The second chargesheet was filed which named Kuldeep Singh Sengar and his brother, three policemen and five other people for allegedly framing the Unnao rape survivor’s father. Later in the day, Sengar was arrested and sent to judicial custody for a week.
14th July: Shashi Singh, the woman who had taken the girl to the MLA’s house was arrested.
18th August: Yunus Khan, a key witness in the fatal case involving the death of the girl’s father mysteriously dies. Even autopsy reports could not determine apparently the certain cause of his death.
Although Sengar is currently in jail, the girl’s surviving family members like her mother and sister have claimed that Sengar’s allies have been threatening them ever since two years now. They claim a foul play in this accident which is pretty obvious from its nature.
21st November: The girl’s uncle who had started a campaign against the BJP MLA for raping his niece and murdering his brother was arrested in an 18 year old gun firing case.
Also read: Victim Blaming Promotes Rape Culture. Here’s How.
28th July: The victim’s car tragically collided with a truck in an accident. The victim was travelling to Rae Baereli jail with her aunts to meet her uncle who was jailed last year. Her lawyer was driving the car. Although, their family had been provided with security following the rape incident, it is again mysterious as to why they did not avail or rather could not avail security. Two of her aunts have died in the accident. Her lawyer has been admitted with several injuries and the girl herself is in a critical condition. The number plate of the truck was blackened.
29th July: The driver and owner of the truck have been arrested. The State police has again decided to hand over this accident case to CBI.
Although Sengar is currently in jail, the girl’s surviving family members like her mother and sister have claimed that Sengar’s allies have been threatening them ever since two years now. They claim a foul play in this accident which is pretty obvious from its nature. Sources from CBI also claimed that just a few days before meeting with a deadly car accident, the survivor had asked the agency to shift the trial to Delhi. The officials had then guided the survivor about the procedure as transferring a case is a judicial process.
An FIR has been registered against BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar, his brother and eight others in connection with Unnao rape case victim’s accident in Raebareli.
Now all we can do is to wait and see whether the Unnao rape case will turn into a “Justice delayed is Justice Denied” one or will the investigation be carried on by officials for at least the sake of the survivor.
Also read: A Critique Of The BJP Government Through A Feminist Lens
Featured Image Source: Deccan Herald