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SC transfers Unnao rape cases to Delhi, BJP expels Sengar

PTI     August 1, 2019

(Eds: Adding info ) New Delhi/Lucknow, Aug 1 (PTI) The Supreme Court transferred all cases connected to the 2017 rape of a minor girl in Unnao to a Delhi court on Thursday, a day of mourning and reckoning that saw a funeral and BJP leaders saying the party has expelled its jailed legislator accused of the assault and also of killing the rape survivor’s two aunts. As the young woman at the centre of it all struggled for life in a Lucknow hospital -- where she was declared stable but remains on ventilator support following her injuries in a truck-car collision on Sunday -- the Supreme Court directed the Uttar Pradesh government to provide her Rs 25 lakh as interim compensation. The woman's lawyer, also admitted to the King Georges Medical University after the accident, is stable, too, but on a ventilator, doctors said. The Uttar Pradesh police swung into damage control mode, suspending three constables entrusted with the task of guarding the survivor. Faced with the rising tide of anger against Kuldeep Sengar, who is already in jail on charges of raping the Unnao woman, the BJP expelled the four-time MLA, sources said. However, there was no official confirmation from the party. The action came four days after the young woman, who alleged that Sengar raped her at his residence in 2017 when she was a minor, and her lawyer were critically injured and two of her aunts killed when their car was hit by a speeding truck in Uttar Pradesh's Rae Bareli district. The apex court bench, headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, issued a slew of directions in the case that has grabbed national attention and also asked the CBI to complete within seven days its investigation into the fifth case relating to the accident. The CBI, which has taken over the investigation into the accident, booked 10 people for murder, including Sengar. The apex court bench, also comprising Justices Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose, made it clear the agency can only seek an extension of seven days for the probe and that too in exceptional circumstances. The court, which will hear the case on Friday, also said the trial in the main case relating to the rape of the survivor will have to be completed within 45 days from its commencement. The apex court said it is passing an ex-parte order without the representation of the accused persons to ensure expeditious investigation and trial in the cases keeping in view the peculiar facts and circumstances of the case. The apex court directed that the survivor, her mother and other members of the family be provided security by the CRPF and an officer of the level of commandant will file a compliance report. As the case took its judicial – and political – course, for the family it was coping with the trauma of battling the powerful and losing a loved one. The body of the survivor's aunt was consigned to flames in her village, about 70 kilometres from the state capital Lucknow, amid tears of rage and sorrow. The last rites were performed by her son in the presence of her two daughters. Family members broke down at the sight of her body, several holding Sengar responsible for the death. “It is nothing but well planned murder,” the woman’s daughter told the media. She said her mother had been staying with the rape survivor for nine months and had pursued the case in the court. The other aunt who died on Sunday was cremated on the banks of the Ganges on Wednesday. Loss is something the family of the young woman who went public with her allegation may be learning to live with. Her father had died in police custody last year, following which she attempted to end her life outside the chief minister’s residence. The escalating public anger since Sunday has seen major political parties coming down hard on the Yogi Adityanath-led government in Uttar Pradesh and asking for accountability. "The BJP finally acknowledges having empowered a criminal and takes some action to correct itself and move in the direction of justice for a young woman who has suffered immeasurably," Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said on Twitter after the ruling party at the centre and the state expelled Sengar, its legislator from Bangermau in Uttar Pradesh. Congress workers in the state also performed a 'havan' for the well being of the rape survivor and for those killed in Sunday's collision. The Samajwadi Party demanded the resignation of Adityanath in the aftermath of the incident. Ajendra Awasthi, another advocate for the woman, said he was provided with adequate security by the district administration after he requested for it. PTI TEAM MIN ASH MIN MIN MIN


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