Investigation of road accident case of Unnao rape survivor transferred to CBI

According to an order from the Department of Personnel and Training, the case has been handed over to the CBI to probe "abetment and conspiracies" into the accident.

The Centre on Tuesday handed over the investigation of the road accident case of the Unnao rape survivor to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The decision was taken after consulting the Uttar Pradesh government. According to an order from the Department of Personnel and Training, the case has been handed over to the agency to probe "abetment and conspiracies" into the accident.

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An FIR, which also contains a charge of murder, has already been filed against former BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar, his brother Manoj Singh Sengar and eight others in connection with the accident in which the Unnao rape survivor and her lawyer were seriously injured, while her mother and aunt were killed.

The case has been registered under Sections 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder), 506 (criminal intimidation), and 120-B (punishment for criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). 

Facing fierce backlash, the BJP on Tuesday suspended Sengar from the party. Speaking to Zee News, UP BJP president Swantantra Dev Singh said the party has taken a grim view of the complaint against Sengar. Singh said that the law will take its course and the party will have nothing to do with Sengar. Singh also added that the CBI will investigate both the cases and 'the guilty will be punished.' He said that the family of the victim will have the full support of the UP government. 

The Uttar Pradesh Police had constituted a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the accident. The state government had sent a formal request to the Centre for transferring the road accident case to the CBI on Monday following outrage over the reported accident. "Until CBI takes over the case, an SIT has been constituted which will be headed by Additional Superintendent of Police, Raebareli. It will have three different teams. All of them have been assigned different responsibilities. The SIT will look into all the aspects of the case," IG Law and Order, Praveen Kumar had said.

The crash took place on Sunday on the National Highway 232 near Raebareli when a truck rammed into the car in which the girl was travelling in. Her mother and aunt were also in the car while Mahendra Singh was behind the wheels. Locals rushed to the spot and pulled out the victims. They were rushed to a nearby hospital where the girl's aunt was declared 'brought dead'. From here, the others were taken to the Lucknow trauma centre where the girl's mother died.

The girl and her lawyer were grievously injured. The rape survivor is currently on a ventilator and is said to be in a critical condition. An official of the King George's Medical University in Lucknow, where she is admitted, said that she has a head injury and a fractured leg. Mahendra Singh is also on ventilator.

While initial investigations of the UP Police indicated that it was a road mishap, there have been suspicions of some foul play at work.

Sengar is the prime accused in the rape case of the minor girl. He was a BJP MLA from Bangarmau in Unnao and was arrested by the CBI in April last year. The teen was allegedly raped by the MLA at his residence in Unnao on June 4, 2017, where she had gone seeking a job.

When the kin of the victim complained, her father was booked by the police under the Arms Act on April 3, 2018, and put in jail after two days. He later died in the hospital and his post-mortem examination report revealed serious injuries on his body. The CBI had filed a charge sheet against Sengar in July 2018 and booked him under Sections 120B, 363, 366, 376(1), 506 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and also under relevant sections of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POSCO) Act.