It’s a coincidence right out of a Bollywood crime movie. Yet, it happened in real life, right in the heart of the Hindu heartland – Uttar Pradesh. The father of a minor girl, who was allegedly gang-raped by four men in UP’s Kanpur district, was killed “in an accident” after he was hit by an unidentified truck on Wednesday. Expressing doubts about the accident, which came a day after they lodged a complaint about the rape, the girl’s family said the rape accused could be behind it. They have accused the police of complicity, given that the father of one of the accused is allegedly posted as a sub-inspector in the Kannauj district.
The prime accused in the rape case, Golu Yadav, son of a police sub-inspector posted in Kannauj, was arrested earlier and efforts were underway to nab his brother Saurabh and friend Deepu, Kanpur Deputy IG Preetinder Singh said. A case under Sections 376d (a), 504, and 506 of the Indian Penal Code and Section 5G/6 of the POCSO Act was registered at the Sajeti police station.
The minor’s father was taken to the Lala Lajpat Rai (LLR) Hospital, where he succumbed to the injuries. Superintendent of Police (Rural) Brajesh Srivastava said an FIR was registered on charges of murder against Devendra Yadav, the father of the accused. “The accident took place when the medical examination of the victim was underway and the father stepped out for a cup of tea. After some time, we got to know that he was hit by a truck. He was immediately taken to a Kanpur hospital but was declared brought dead. We have filed an accident case and are probing,” said Kanpur DIG Preetinder Singh.
The family members of the deceased alleged in the FIR that Devendra Yadav hatched a conspiracy to kill him and make it look like a road accident. Meanwhile, five police teams, including surveillance personnel, have been formed to nab the rape accused Saurabh and Deepu. The probe has been handed over to Ghatampur Station House Officer Dhanesh Kumar, who has been asked to investigate the charges and work out the case at the earliest, the police said.
As reported by The Hindu, the FIR lodged on March 9, the girl’s father said that on March 8 when his daughter was returning home from the fields around 7 p.m, accused Dipu Yadav and Golu Yadav grabbed her from behind. They covered her eyes and mouth and took her to an isolated place and took turns to repeatedly rape her and threatened to kill her if she made any noise or informed anyone. The girl managed to return home late at night in a bad state and narrated her ordeal, the FIR stated. The girl’s family alleged that a day after the incident when they stepped out of the house to lodge a complaint, Dipu’s brother Saurabh Yadav threatened dire consequences if they went ahead and reported the matter to police.
“You should know that my father is a daroga [police inspector]. You can’t do anything to us through police station and police. We will do the bad act [rape] again in front of everyone,” the FIR read, quoting the threat made by Saurabh.
After the accident, locals blocked the Kanpur-Sagar highway for five hours demanding swift action. UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath announced Rs 5 lakh to the girl’s family. UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has announced a compensation of Rs five lakhs from the CM’s relief fund to the family, while Rs five lakhs more would be provided under the accident insurance scheme, Kanpur District Magistrate Alok Tiwari said. It has also been decided to provide three bighas of land on lease to the victim’s family, the DM added.
Kanpur Additional DG Bhanu Bhaskar told PTI over the phone that directions have been issued to swiftly crack the case of the rape survivor’s father’s death on the basis of “evidence” and ensure the arrest of the remaining accused in the gang-rape case. Officials have also been instructed to book the accused persons under the National Security Act and the Gangsters Act, the ADG said. Reacting to the incident, Dr. Alok Tiwari, District Magistrate, Kanpur, said according to NDTV: “The government and the administration are with the survivor’s family. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has announced compensation. Both the cases will be investigated swiftly and no one will be spared. The guilty will face tough legal action. We are considering action under the National Security Act.”
The girl’s relatives and outraged locals staged a dharna on the road and held up traffic on the Kanpur-Sagar Highway. The girl’s grandfather alleged that his son was murdered in complicity with the police. “Police walo ne marwa dala hai [The police got him killed],” he told journalists.
This is a very worrying incident on two fronts. First, of the recurring issue of women’s safety in Uttar Pradesh. While the Chief Minister has been going to states where elections are upcoming and preached about the sorry state of women’s safety in those states, his own state has become the rape capital of India, with the highest number of crimes against women being committed in the State. The second worrying issue is the co-incidental death of the father of the minor. If it is indeed proved that the accuseds’ father who is in the police force used his influence to get the minor’s father killed, then families will be scared to even report crimes like these in the future. In a country where 99% of rapes go unreported, incidents like these will ensure whatever handful of rape cases are brought to light, will be discarded in the pits of fear and oppression.