For the 'Sengar Brothers' of Uttar Pradesh, their list of heinous crimes does not stop with the Unnao rape case. A DIG rank IPS officer of the UP cadre, Ram Lal Verma, who was shot four times (in the chest and stomach) by the 'Sengar brothers', has now come forward to seek justice.
Due to expelled BJP MLA Kuldeep Sengar's exceptional clout in UP's power circles, crucial investigation documents relating to the shocking murder attempt on Verma have gone missing. The trial itself has been scuttled.
The matter goes back to 2004. During a raid on an illegal mining site in Unnao, Verma (then SP) was repeatedly shot at by Kuldeep Sengar's younger brother, Atul, and his aide. Later Kuldeep Sengar, accused in the Unnao rape case, exerted political pressure to derail the case. Crucial case diaries were stolen from the police station. Even after 15 years, the trial in the sensational attempt to murder case is yet to begin.
Ram Lal Verma almost miraculously survived the attempt on his life even as he underwent several surgeries and months of hospitalisation. Recalling the brutal attack, Verma, who has recovered from the grave multiple bullet injuries, told IANS that he got a tip-off about illegal mining being carried out by members of the sand mafia on the banks of river Ganga in Unnao. When he rushed to spot, Atul Sengar and his aides opened fire on the police.
"I was shot four times (near the chest and in the stomach). I was fortunate enough to be rushed to a hospital in time. Kuldeep Sengar, his brother Atul and several of their goons were involved (in the shooting)," said Verma. According to him, Kuldeep Sengar, a four-term MLA, used his clout to scuttle the probe and subsequent trial of the case.
"I had to file an RTI to seek the status of the case. It's very disheartening for me that despite being an IPS officer... I was almost killed while performing my duty but the trial has not yet begun," he asserted and said, "I am in Chennai now (for a training course). Once I return to Kanpur, I will provide you all the details relating to the progress of investigation."
Incidentally Verma's son, Abhishek, is an IPS officer of the UP cadre, 2016 batch. Despite being in the police, Verma has been compelled to seek justice in his own case. "In fact, Sengar, being a powerful politician in UP, managed to stall investigation in this case. The important case diaries have been stolen. Witnesses have been threatened. Shockingly, all this is happening in a case where a victim is a senior IPS officer. The Chief Justice of India should also take cognisance of Verma's case," said Verma's batch mate, serving as a DIG in UP. The batch mate, who declined to be identified, revealed that senior police officers fear to take action against the Sengars who dominate the sand mining syndicate in the state.
Police records disclose that Atul Sengar has several crimes registered against him, including the murder of the Unnao rape victim's father. An enquiry ordered by the Lokayukt into the Rs 125 crore mining scam against the Sengars was also hushed up by the officials.
"Kuldeep Sengar is part of a very powerful lobby of politicians which works on caste lines. Due to this connection, the Sengars remain powerful in every regime, irrespective of any political ideology," said an IG rank officer who requested not to be named.