Friday, Jul 01, 2022
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A Rape, Many Bodybags: Unnao Case Underscores Clout Powerful People Wield, And Damage They Can Do

After the Unnao girl alleged rape by the expelled BJP MLA Kuldeep Sengar, her father died in police custody, and uncle was jailed in a 19-year-old arms case. She is now battling for life after a road accident which also claimed lives of her two aunts.

Tell-tale Signs Photograph by PTI

A girl from Unnao, Uttar Pradesh—in her teens, raped, and her family and well-wishers killed one by one like in a B-grade potboiler—beseeched everybody she could for justice. But there’s not a pittance of justice to be had, leaving a trail of questions instead. What must a human, living under the rule of law, do if they’re wronged? Approach police? Move court? Attempt self-immolation? Lament before the press? Write to the state’s top authority? Seek justice from the country’s top court? And what do the victim do if she draws a bad cheque from every door she knocked on? Perhaps, just send a curse from the pits of your being, hoping against hope that it will harm the perpetrator.

She was 17 two years ago and had gone to BJP legislator Kuldeep Singh Sengar’s home in the district seeking a job. The MLA allegedly raped her and she complained, sought justice. And then the domino effect, so typical to the badlands of UP, unfolded. Her father died in police custody—first assaulted by the MLA’s brother Atul Singh and his henchmen, and then allegedly tortured by police. Her uncle was jailed in a 19-year old arms case. Her two aunts died in a road accident, which also left her in a critical condition. She has wounds in the lungs, a blood clot in the head, and a fractured leg, says a kin. He alleges that the accident, and the preceding events, is part of a conspiracy by the MLA, who is now in jail, to silence the girl and her family.

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