Delhi court on Friday has sentenced the ex-BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar to life imprisonment post his conviction in the 2017 Unnao rape case.
Along with life imprisonment, the District Judge Dharmesh Sharma also imposed on him a fine of Rs 25 lakh in the case, which has to be paid within a month. Declining the plea for any leniency in sentencing him, the judge mentioned:
“This court does not find any mitigating circumstance. Sengar was public servant and betrayed people’s faith,”
Additionally, the court mentioned that the conduct of Sengar was to intimidate the rape survivor. In order to compensate the mother of the victim, the court also directed that the rape survivor be paid an additional Rs 10 lakh.
Earlier, the court convicted Kuldeep Singh for rape under the Indian Penal Code and the POCSO Act for the offense by a public servant committing penetrative sexual assault against a child. Calling the Unnao case “an extraordinary one”, the court had to “consider her continued suffering”. Even the CBI had sought the maximum punishment – life imprisonment – for the accused.
In 2017, when the Unnao rape survivor was kidnapped and raped, she was only a minor. Her rape complaint was not registered until she attempted to put herself on fire outside Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s official residence in Lucknow.
She took this extreme step only after her father was allegedly thrashed by Sengar’s brother, Atul Sengar and was taken to jail rather than hospital even though he was badly injured. She lost her father two days later as he died in police custody. The ugly realities of the matter came to light only after a video clip showing Atul Sengar beating the father went viral on the social media.
In midst of public anger and outrage, the case was transferred to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and both the Sengars and two others were arrested. While fighting this battle of justice, she not only lost her father but two aunts as well.
It is never easy to raise your voice against the powerful and rich. But, this young woman refused to bow down to any pressure. Fighting like a true warrior for her dignity, she showed the world that women are not weak anymore.
At IFORHER, we applaud her courage and strength to fight against a four-time ex-BJP MLA from Bangermau in Unnao district. We hope her battle will inspire the coming generations of women to stand for themselves and not give up!