Hours after the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh recommended a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the Unnao rape case, the Centre on Thursday gave its nod for the same. Sources said that the case was handed over to the central investigating agency after the intervention of the Prime Minister's Office (PMO). An FIR has already been registered against the accused BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Senger.
The Modi government may have ordered a CBI probe into the case but the Uttar Pradesh Police is yet to arrest prime accused in the case - BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Senger. The Bangarmau lawmaker has been accused by a 16-year-old girl of raping her in June last year.
'Mananiya' MLA yet to be arrested
Addressing the media on Thursday morning, UP DGP OP Singh asserted that the police was not trying to hush up the case and that the authorities doesn't want to save anyone. During the press conference, the top cop addressed MLA Senger as "mananiya vidhayak (honourable MLA)" to which the mediamen present there objected.
"Mananiya vidhayakji ke virudh jo balatkar ka aarop lagaya gaya hai...(the rape charges that have been levelled against the honourable MLA)," the DGP said triggering a sharp reaction from the media contingent.
"The respect that is being given to the accused is because he is an MLA... he is not a convict so far. Only a charge has been levelled against him and the case is being handed over to the CBI for investigation. The CBI will now decide whether he has to be arrested or not on the merit of the case," OP Singh while defending himself.
Allahabad High Court acts tough
Amid the uproar over the case, the Allahabad High Court also came down hard on the Uttar Pradesh administration questioning the delay in arresting Kuldeep Senger.
Raising questions over the conduct of state police in the case, the high court bench of Chief Justice D B Bhosale and Justice Suneet Kumar asked the UP government whether it intends to arrest Senger or not. The court is likely to pronounce its order on Friday (April 13).
Reacting to Advocate General Raghvendra Singh's argument that more evidence was needed against the accused MLA and a further probe is on in the matter, the court, while referring to the SIT report, said "according to it, medical officers and police officers, all were hand in glove with the accused to save them and you acted on this report against those officers but for arresting rape accused you need to do further investigation."
Politics galore over the rape case
The delay in any substantial action against MLA Kuldeep Singh Senger has given the opposition ample fodder to target the ruling BJP government.
Targeting PM Narendra Modi over the matter, Congress president Rahul Gandhi took pot shots over the fast observed by the BJP ministers and leaders over their one-day fast in protest against disruption during the just concluded budget session of Parliament. "Hope Prime Minister Narendra Modi would consider fasting over rising incidents of crimes against women in Uttar Pradesh," Rahul Gandhi said.
On the other hand, several Union ministers sought to defend the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh which has been facing severe backlash over the Unnao rape case.
"When we say Beti Bachao, we really mean that. We are here to safeguard the interests of our daughters and we are committed to their safety. As far as Unnao incident is concerned, the law of justice will prevail," Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma told reporters.
Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi said that action should be taken in every such case against women. "This is distressing and justice will be done. The case has been given to CBI and law will take its course," she said.
Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said the Uttar Pradesh government is working day and night to maintain law and order in the state. "The state government will bring to book all the culprits in the state," he said.
(With inputs from agencies)
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