Teenager who accused an Indian politician of rape is seriously injured in a ‘suspicious’ car crash which kills two of her relatives
- A 19-year-old alleged rape victim was critically injured in a road accident in India
- Girl’s lawyer also injured and two aunts killed in the lorry smash in Uttar Pradesh
- She had accused Kuldeep Singh Sengar of kidnapping and raping her last year
- Her family claim the highway crash was a planned ‘conspiracy’ to ‘wipe them out’
A teenager who accused a politician from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party of rape is fighting for life after a car crash which her family say was ‘planned’.
The 19-year-old was critically injured after a lorry struck the vehicle on a state highway in Uttar Pradesh on Sunday afternoon.
She was travelling with her lawyer and two aunts when their car was hit by a truck, leaving her two relatives dead and her advocate critically ill in hospital.
Her family claim the accident was ‘planned’ in a bid to ‘wipe them out’ and stop the case going to trial.
Lat July the teenager accused Kuldeep Singh Sengar of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of kidnapping and raping her for a week.
The alleged victim accused Sengar of assaulting her in June 2017 at his home in Unnao district in Uttar Pradesh.
Politician Kuldeep Singh Sengar from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling party was accused of rape by the teenage girl
The girl and her lawyer were left in a critical condition and two of her aunts were killed in the collision between a car and lorry on a state highway in Uttar Pradesh
Police in the notoriously lawless state refused to take action when her family reported the rape.
The woman’s family said the crash was a deliberate bid to kill her so the rape case does not go to trial.
After the road accident the girl’s mother accused associates of Sengar of orchestrating the crash and demanded justice.
She told the Times of India: ‘It was not an accident but a conspiracy to eliminate all of us. The son of a co-accused in the case, Shahi Singh, and another youth of the village had threatened us. They said that they will deal with us.’
But state police chief O.P. Singh said the crash ‘appears to be purely a road accident’.
He said the truck was speeding, but declined further comment while an investigation went ahead.
The girl, her lawyer and two members of her family, were travelling to Rae Bareli jial to visit her uncle, who is imprisoned in an unrelated case.
Kuldeep Singh Sengar was accused last year of raping a teenage girl. Sengar was taken into custody after intense questioning last April
The girl’s family accused Sengar’s associates of orchestrating the road accident to stop the rape case going to trial
A team of three police officers were assigned to protect the girl and her family but were accompanying her at the time of the accident.
Superintendent of police MP Verma said an investigation will be launched into the absence of the police officers.
The driver of the truck was arrested and police said registration plate had been painted over.
The leader of Uttar Pradesh state’s main opposition Samajwadi Party, Akhilesh Yadav, reportedly said the incident ‘could be a murder attempt’, according to the Hindustan Times.
Delhi commission for women chairman Swati Maliwal visited the victim and her family.
She said: We will fight for the girl to get justice. The family has alleged that the accident was a conspiracy.’
In April, nearly a year after her alleged assault, the girl tried to set herself on fire outside the home of Uttar Pradesh leader, Yogi Adityanath in a bid to get justice.
Indian activists and students hold placards and shout slogans during a protest against the alleged political silence over the rape of a child near Jammu and a rape case in Uttar Pradesh state last April
The chief minister ordered an investigation into the crime and the case was handed over to federal investigators.
The girl’s father, who kept pursuing her case, was detained by police and severely beaten. He later died from his injuries.
Priyanka Gandhi, a leader of the opposition Congress party, said the accident was ‘shocking’ and questioned why Sengar was still a member of the BJP.
The case has shone a spotlight on India’s atrocious record on rape. Nearly 40,000 cases are reported every year, according to official figures.
Campaigners say the real number is higher, with victims wary of filing cases because of the social stigma and a lack of faith in investigators.