- Politician Kuldeep Sengar in jail for allegedly raping a teen 2 years ago
- Amid outrage, BJP expelled Kuldeep Sengar from the party on Thursday
- Ashish Singh Ashu, BJP lawmaker from UP, seen supporting Kuldeep Sengar
A BJP lawmaker in Uttar Pradesh has come out in support of his expelled colleague and rape accused Kuldeep Sengar, who is in jail for over a year for allegedly raping a teenage girl two years ago.
Ashish Singh Ashu, BJP lawmaker from Uttar Pradesh's Hardoi, was seen in a video talking about Kuldeep Sengar facing "difficult times" and how he wished his colleague would walk out from jail soon.
"Our brother Kuldeep Singh could not be here among us today as he is going through difficult times. Out best wishes are with him. We hope that he will overcome the bad times, fight through it and come out of it and be with all of you. Wherever we are, our best wishes are with him," Mr Ashu said on Friday at a panchayat event near Unnao, the hometown of the expelled BJP leader who allegedly raped the teenage girl in June 2017 when she had come looking for a job.
The BJP expelled Kuldeep Sengar from the party on Thursday amid waves of public outrage over the rape survivor's ordeal - from losing her father in police custody to two aunts dying in a road accident. One of the aunts was also a witness in the rape case.
The Unnao rape survivor and her lawyer were critically wounded and two of her relatives were killed in a car crash involving a speeding truck, which had its number plate painted black, over a week ago. The girl is still critical and on the ventilator.
The Supreme Court has said four cases linked to the Unnao rape survivor would be transferred out of Uttar Pradesh to Delhi, after the family wrote to the Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi alleging threats from the jailed lawmaker.
A CBI team investigating charges in the Unnao case has also asked for details of the politician's visitors in jail after the family alleged the four-time legislator had engineered the road accident and was allegedly calling the shots from jail.
The CBI, which filed a chargesheet against the lawmaker a year ago, has been spurred into action after the Supreme Court this week gave a seven-day deadline to the agency to investigate the deadly road accident.
According to the FIR, threats from Kuldeep Sengar and his men increased over the last few months after the Allahabad High Court rejected the request of a co-accused in the rape case for bail. The girl's uncle said he had asked the family to move from Unnao to Delhi.