I am getting threats from seniors: Banda jail warden

The warden has claimed she was being threatened for giving a statement against the BSP legislator.

Lucknow: Authorities on Monday ordered an enquiry into the allegations by a woman jail warden who claimed her seniors were threatening her for giving a statement against the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) legislator, the main accused in the Banda rape case.

Additional Director General for Prisons VK Gupta told reporters that Inspector General for Prisons Yogesh Shukla will conduct the enquiry to ascertain the veracity of the claims made by Shahnaz Begum, the warden of the Banda jail.

Begum, the warden at Banda jail where the 17-year-old girl rape victim was lodged on false theft charges and later released on the directions of the High Court, claimed that senior jail staff and other police officers are threatening her for making statements against BSP MLA Purshottam Naresh Dwivedi, the rape accused, and supporting the victim.

"I only told the truth before the CID team. I told the officials that the girl was profusely bleeding when she was handed over to me and that she was not even able to stand on her feet," Begum told reporters Monday in Banda, some 200 km from Lucknow.

"Now, they (senior officials) are threatening me. They say I will have to face action for what I did to help the victim. They say I will not be allowed to continue on my posting. I will set myself on fire if I don`t get justice," she said.

Meanwhile, the rape victim, who belongs to Other Backward Classes (OBC), told reporters in her native village Shahbazpur that police officials are not allowing her to go anywhere.

"They (police) threaten me when I tell them I need to go somewhere. They say the court has directed them to ensure my safety. Is this how I am to be secured? Me and my family are kept in a confinement," she said.

She has launched a sit-in demanding safer accommodation, Rs 50 lakh compensation and action against Banda police, including Superintendent of Police Anil Das.

Prompted by an Allahabad High Court directive, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati Saturday ordered her release.

Dwivedi, after allegedly raping the girl, had got her arrested Dec 15 night on charges of stealing his licensed revolver, a mobile phone and Rs 5,000 in cash.

Mayawati Wednesday ordered the arrest of the legislator from her own party after the preliminary report submitted by the crime branch of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) confirmed that the girl was gangraped.

Dwivedi was arrested on Thursday and sent to Banda jail.


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