A Timeline Of A Struggle- Unnao Rape Case

The Unnao rape survivors road accident sent shock waves across the nation- when the accident has been alleged as pre-meditated- orchestrated by Kuldeep Singh Sengar, the BJP MLA who was accused of raping the Unnao woman. The rape survivor and her lawyer survived while her two aunts died in the collision.

The case unfolded with a timeline like this

June 11, 2017: The incident took place in Mankhi village where a girl went missing in Uttar Pradesh. A complaint had been lodged by the missing girl’s family.

June 17, 2017: The MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar along with his brother Atul Sengar gang-raped the girl who was a minor then- aged 17- on the promise that they would help her get a job. The incident happened after Yogi Adityanath came to power in Uttar Pradesh.

June 20, 2017: The case was filed to the UP police by the victim with section 366 ( kidnapping a woman to compel her for marriage) and 363 ( kidnapping). The Hindu reports by saying that the case has been filed in Mankhi police station. It is also mentioned by Wire that the police did not mention the name of the accused- MLA Sengar.

July 3, 2017: It has been realized later that the local police administration is under the control of the MLA. After repeated written complaint against the accused to the Chief minister’s office and senior police officers in the state demanding that rape charges be framed against Sengar, no action has been taken for almost a year.

February 24, 2018: There have been constant struggles faced by the survivor’s family in filing a complaint against Sengar. The survivor’s mother eventually approached the Chief Judicial Magistrate to finally get an FIR lodged against the BJP MLA. The Unnao police, as usual, ignored the case. They kept a blind ear to the grievances of the survivor’s family who have been living under constant threats from Sengar.

April 3, 2018: The survivor’s father is brutally assaulted by Sengar’s brother Atul Sengar in broad daylight when they were traveling to Unnao for a hearing. There was a video showing the survivor’s father getting beaten up by Atul Sengar. They tied Surendra (father) to a tree and started to thrash him with sticks, belts, and rods in front of the family.

The police filed an FIR against the five men in the scene excluding Atul Sengar.

April 4, 2018: The police arrest the survivor’s father for possessing illegal firearms. He has been sent to jail thus leaving his family in fear that they might kill him in the custody. Despite severe injuries, the Doctors do not admit him to a hospital.

April 8, 2018: The survivor and her family attempted to suicide by self-immolation outside Adityanath’s residence in Lucknow. She told ANI– “ I was raped. I have been going from pillar to post for one year but no one has listened to me. I want all of them arrested, otherwise, I will kill myself. I had even gone to the Chief Minister, but to no avail. When we lodged the FIR, we were threatened.”

April 9, 2018: The father of the survivor dies in police custody because of “blood poisoning due to perforation of colon” according to the post-mortem report. The report also lists down multiple injuries and abrasions around his arms, thighs, buttocks, knees, and abdomen. The police, on the other hand, denies accusations of torture. Sengar was even spotted at Adityanath’s house walking scot-free.

April 10, 2018: The accused Atul Singh is arrested along with four others for allegedly thrashing the girl’s father.

April 11, 2018: Adityanath government at last orders a special investigation team to be formed to probe the alleged rape case and Surendra’s custodial death.

April 12, 2018: A case has been registered against the MLA for kidnapping and rape three days father succumbed to his injuries and four days after the survivor tried to commit suicide outside the chief Ministers’ house. The case has been filed under the Indian Penal Code and the Protection of Children from Sexual offenses Act. Later, the superintendent transfers the investigation to CBI. Questions have been raised by Allahabad high court asking the police as to why they haven’t arrested Sengar.

O.P. Singh, state police chief tells reporters- “ Why should we arrest him? We have mentioned his name in FIR. Now, CBI can take over the investigation.”

April 13, 2018– CBI registers a case against Sengar and had started questioning.

April 15, 2018- The CBI arrested Shashi Singh, the woman who allegedly took the survivor to Sengar and stood guard outside the door as he raped her.

April 23, 2018- The residents of Unnao have marched for a rally in support of Sengar by holding placards saying ‘Humare vidhyak nirdosh hai’. The protesters claim that the incident is part of a political conspiracy.

May 11, 2018: The CBI denies reports after some national dailies suggest that the probe has confirmed the survivor’s charge of rape by Sengar.

July 7, 2018: The Sengar, his brother Atul and four other people have been kept undercharge by the CBI for murdering the survivor’s father.

July 11, 2018: CBI charges Sengar and his associate Shashi Singh in the rape case.

July 13, 2018: The CBI files a charge sheet against Sengar and his nine other including policemen Ashok Singh Bhaduria, then station officer of Mankhi police station for hatching a conspiracy and implicating the survivor’s father in the arms case.

July 31, 2018: The Lok-Sabha passes a stringent bill to provide the death penalty to those convicted of raping girls below the age of 12 years and against any other kind of sexual offense.

August 18, 2018: The key witness in the murder of the survivor’s father, Yunus, dies under suspicious circumstances and is buried in the same evening. The survivor’s family write to Uttar Pradesh police and CBI, alleging foul play and also seeking protection.

December 27, 2018: The rape survivor gets an FIR launched against her for submitting alleged forged documents to police as proof that she was a minor during the time of the rape. The complaint was filed by Shashi Singh’s husband Haripal Singh.

June 6, 2019: BJP’s Unnao MP Sachidanand Hari Sakshi alias Sakshi Maharaj meets Sengar at Sitapur district jail to “thank” him after the general election.

June 4, 2019: The survivor’s uncle who she was going to visit on Sunday has been sentenced to ten years in jail for an old attempt- to murder case filed by Atul Sengar.

July 28, 2019: The survivor’s car is hot by an empty truck with its registration place scrubbed out on the way to Rae Bareli. The woman’s two aunts succumb to their injuries. She and her lawyer Mahendra Singh remain critical.

July 29, 2019: The incident has been called a conspiracy by the survivors mother Rajya Sabha adjourns over a united opposition bringing up the issue. Sengar is named along with nine others in an FIR.  Twenty unnamed people are also included. The Uttar Pradesh government says its is ready to hand over the investigation into the accident to the CBI. People gather around India Gate demanding justice for the survivor.

July 30, 2019: The survivor has been visited by chief and several politicians, a representative of Adityanath government nearly after two days since the truck collision. Deputy chief minster Dinesh Sharma visits the survivor in Lucknow hospital where she is undergoing treatment. He states- “the government is with the family of the vitim.” The government transfers the investigation to the CBI. Uttar Pradesh BJP says- Sengar “was suspended from the party long ago,” amid growing demands to sack the lawmaker.

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