Uttar Pradesh BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar, who has been charged of raping a 17-year-old girl in June 2017, has been detained by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for questioning in the wee the hours on Friday. He has been brought to the Lucknow office of the CBI, after it took over the probe on Thursday evening.
The CBI will investigate three cases filed against Sengar with Makhi police station in Unnao.
The BJP MLA from Banagarmau in Uttar Pradesh has been charged under the stringent POCSO Act and sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) dealing with rape.
The notice to the CBI to take over the cases was issued on Thursday night, following which the probe agency in a matter of a few hours picked up the BJP lawmaker from his Lucknow home at 4:30 am.
On Thursday, the Allahabad High Court had come down heavily on the Uttar Pradesh government, asking that despite FIR why BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar was not arrested. The court also asked the government whether it proposes to arrest Sengar.
An FIR was lodged against the BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar on Thursday under sections 363 (kidnapping), 366 (abduction of woman), 376 (rape), 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, and the case was handed over to the CBI.
The victim had attempted suicide outside the residence of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath triggering a massive political row over women’s safety in Uttar Pradesh. Later, the state police had arrested her father who died in judicial custody with autopsy suggesting several injuries on his body.
A bench of Chief Justice DB Bhosale and Justice Suneet Kumar, taking cognisance of the Unnao gangrape case on a letter to the court by senior lawyer Gopal Swaroop Chaturvedi, heard the matter in detail. It will pronounce its order at 2 pm on Friday.
The court also questioned the conduct of the police in the case.
Advocate General Raghavendra Singh, who was present in the court on Thursday, told the bench that on August 17, 2017, an application was sent to the Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s office in which allegations of rape was made against the BJP MLA.
The application was then forwarded to officers in Unnao, who were supposed to act on it, he said.
All this week, Kuldeep Singh Sengar has moving freely denying the accusation, disparaging the girl and her family and hitting out at the media. Meanwhile, his brother Atul Singh was arrested for a brutal assault on the victim’s father, who was not just arrested with severe wounds on his body but who died on Monday in police custody. He “had not been treated properly”, a Special Investigation Team has found.
On Wednesday night, Sengar made a dramatic appearance outside the house of the police chief in Lucknow, in a convoy of 20 vehicles. “I have come here because TV channels were saying I will surrender,” he appeared to taunt reporters, insisting that he was neither a fugitive nor a rapist.
Up to six police personnel were also suspended for allegedly beating up the victim’s father, who died on April 09.