Unnao gang-rape: Allahabad HC lashes out at Yogi government

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The Allahabad High Court on Friday directed the Investigative officer of CBI to arrest Kuldeep Singh Sengar, BJP MLA, who is accused in the Unnao rape case. The police put the onus on the CBI to arrest the MLA, who has remained defiant and has dubbed allegations as a political conspiracy.

The court had taken suo motu cognisance of the case on Wednesday. Later on Sunday, her father was arrested by the UP police and allegedly roughed up by the BJP MLA's brother Atul Singh and his aides after which he died.

Observing that the Special Investigation Team (SIT) report showed that the medical officers and police officers were hand in glove with the accused to save them, the court said since these officers have been arrested already why further investigation was needed to arrest the main accused.

According to Superintendent of Police (SP), Unnao, Pushpanjali Devi, the MLA has been booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

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He added, "This conversation shows that criminals are scared of the government's resolve to eliminate crime in the state". The third FIR is related to the allegations against the victim's father who was arrested under the arms act.

The court gave the direction to CBI after state government's counsel informed it that Sengar had been detained for interrogation and not arrested yet.

On Thursday, the high court had asked the Advocate General whether the state government proposes to arrest Sengar.

The court directed the CBI to carry out investigation strictly in accordance with law and to consider filing an application for cancellation of bail granted to other accused in the case. 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).

Late on Wednesday, Sengar, with a convoy of 20 vehicles full of supporters, went to the official residence of a senior police officer in Lucknow to claim that he had neither raped the teenager nor had a role in her father's death. The development came a few hours after the Uttar Pradesh government handed over the Unnao rape case to the CBI. Since the murder charge was added later by the police, it does not reflect in the central probe agency's FIR.

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"The Government would be sending the recommendation letter to the Home Ministry today and now it is up to the central agency to take action against the legislator", said state Principal Secretary (Home) Arvind Kumar and Director General of Police (DGP) O P Singh in a joint news conference.

This ultimate threat worked like a miracle and the MLA was merely "detailed" at that point, was immediately arrested.

After the reports of supporters of Sengar clashing with mediapersons on Wednesday night, the Principal Secretary (Home) said that the government has made a decision to provide adequate security to the family of the victim and witnesses in the case.

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