As Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivered his Independence Day speech on Thursday, a full page advertisement was published in the local edition of a vernacular daily in Uttar Pradesh’s Unnao, where, two years ago, a teenage girl was allegedly raped by a former BJP leader. The poster, released to mark both Independence Day and Raksha Bandhan, featured the rape accused – Kuldeep Sengar – alongside PM Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
“He is MLA of our area. That is why his photo is there. Till the time he is our MLA his photo can be put,” Anuj Kumar Dixit, Chairman of the Ungu Nagar Panchayat, who paid for the ad, was quoted by news agency ANI.
Anuj Kumar Dixit, who was reportedly inducted into the BJP by Kuldeep Sengar, denied his ad, which also featured Kuldeep Sengar’s wife, Sangeeta Sengar, Chairwoman of the Zila Panchayat, had any links with political parties.
BJP spokesperson Shalabhmani Tripathi has denied party links to the poster.
“It might have been someone”s personal choice to give Sengar’s photograph. It has nothing to do with the party or the state government. We have no sympathy for Sengar,” he told news agency PTI.
Kuldeep Sengar was expelled by the BJP earlier this month.
A Delhi court last week framed charges of rape against four-time MLA Kuldeep Sengar, who, with his brother Atul Sengar, was also named in a murder case involving the rape survivor’s father.
Last month the rape survivor, now 19, was involved in a horrific crash that left her and her lawyer critically injured. They were travelling to Rae Bareli when their vehicle was rammed by a truck with blackened number plates. The crash killed two of her aunts, one of whom was a witness to the rape.
Doctors have said both the survivor and the lawyer, who were airlifted to AIIMS in Delhi on the Supreme Court’s orders, continue to be in critical condition.
The survivor’s family has accused Kuldeep Sengar of orchestrating the attack from inside prison.
After the accident, spurred into action by the Supreme Court, a CBI team visited Kuldeep Sengar in prison and found the former BJP leader had received more than 10,000 visitors, including BJP parliamentarian Sakshi Maharaj.
Three policemen, who were part of a security detail that was absent on the day of the crash, have been suspended for allegedly keeping Kuldeep Sengar informed of the girl’s movements.
The Unnao rape survivor has accused Kuldeep Sengar, 53, of raping her two years ago, when she went to his home in search of employment. The case made international headlines last year after the young girl tried to commit suicide outside Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s home because Uttar Pradesh police had refused to register her complaint.
With inputs from ANI, PTI
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