The Unnao rape case, which has led to a nationwide outrage in the last few days, witnessed a series of fast-moving developments in the last 30 hours, before the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) arrested the accused BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar on Friday night, following the Allahabad High Court's order.
The CBI took over the case from a Special Investigative Team following a request to the Centre from the Uttar Pradesh government.
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The agency then filed three First Investigation Reports late on Thursday over the 2017 rape and the survivor's father's death in police custody. Phone call details of the legislator have also been sought, informed sources said.
In the first FIR, the CBI named Sengar and Shashi Singh, a woman who allegedly took the rape survivor to the Bharatiya Janata Party leader's house.
The second FIR is against four of Sengar's accomplices -- Vineet, Baua, Shailu and Sonu -- on charges of rioting, criminal intimidation and voluntarily causing hurt.
The third one relates to Sengar's brother Atul Singh, who claimed that he was attacked by the victim's father. Atul Singh is currently in judicial custody.
The CBI team then, along with Lucknow Police, detained the accused BJP MLA Kuldeep Sengar and took him to the CBI zona office in the wee hours of Friday (at around 04:53 am).
Since then, the investigating team grilled the accused lawmaker for around 15 hours now, during which it asked him 21 questions related to the incident, according to India TV sources.
The investigating agency asked Sengar where he was on the night of the incident, and also about the audio clip in which he was purportedly heard asking the rape survivor’s family to drop the case.
At around 11 am on Friday, a four-member CBI team reached Unnao’s Makhi police station, where it questioned station in-charge Ashok Singh Bhadauria, former in-charge K P Singh and four other suspended cops.
According to sources, at 1:10 pm, the CBI team called Unnao Police CO and other police officials for questioning in the hotel where the victim and her family is staying.
At 4:11 pm, the team reached the district hospital where it checked the CCTV footages and documents. This is the same hospital where the rape survivor’s father was brought on Sunday after he complained of abdominal pain, and he died on Monday.
It may be worth mentioning here that Atul Sengar – brother of the accused lawmaker – was arrested on Tuesday for allegedly thrashing the survivor’s father which later resulted in his death.
Meanwhile, at around 2 pm on Friday, the Allahabad High Court directed the CBI to immediately arrest the accused lawmaker.
It directed CBI to arrest "forthwith" Sengar and the other accused named in the FIR registered yesterday for offences punishable under sections 363, 366, 376, 506 of IPC and sections 3 and 4 of POCSO Act and carry out further investigation within the time stipulated under the provisions of CrPC.
It also directed the agency to file status report by May 2.
The judges also took strong objection to Advocate General Raghvendra Singh's submission that Sengar would not be arrested on mere registration of the FIR, saying, "The approach of the learned Advocate General is not only appalling but shocks the conscience of the Court in the backdrop of the instant case."
The bench passed the order on a letter written by senior advocate Gopal Swaroop Chaturvedi demanding a court-monitored investigation of the incident and treated it as a PIL.
The judges said Advocate General Singh has not denied that the case involves commission of a grave and heinous offence like rape, which has been disclosed by the prosecutrix and her family members to the officer of the rank of Additional DGP.
"The arrest of the accused in the circumstances can be considered justified and necessary, not only to restrain his movement but also to infuse confidence in the victim and her family members of fair investigation and to restrain the accused from influencing the investigation and tampering with evidence and witnesses," the court said. In its 20-page order, the court also said, "The disturbing feature of the case is that the law and order machinery and the government officials were directly in league and under the influence of Kuldeep Singh. The doctor did not examine the prosecutrix, nor did the circle officer, Shafipur, register the crime, though hand written complaint of the prosecutrix was sent from the office of the Chief Minister."