- Owner of the truck which hit Unnao rape survivor's car, said he defaulted
- He said he blackened truck's number plates as he missed on loan payments
- He said he blackened them to avoid being spotted by recovery agents
The mystery behind the blackened number plate of the truck that mowed into the car carrying the Unnao rape survivor and her family last week, killing two of her aunts - one of whom was a witness to her rape - and leaving the girl in critical condition, deepened today, with the truck owner insisting he had defaulted on loan payments and that he had proof.
On Saturday, agents of the Kanpur-based firm that financed the truck's purchase said the owner, Devender Kishore Pal, had settled all pending instalments. Devender Kishore Pal earlier claimed he blackened the number plates to avoid being spotted by recovery agents, to whom he still owed money.
"There were four instalments. I paid two and I have two remaining. I have proof of this - a seizure notice for the vehicle was out. This letter was sent by the company lawyer in the Delhi head office. Everybody who is defaulting on payments gets these notices," he told news agency ANI.
"Because of this, I blackened the number plates 15-20 days ago," he added.
Earlier, the agents told ANI that although the owner had missed some payments, all dues have since been cleared.
"There is no pressure put on any one (for failing to pay instalments on time). He had broken his EMI but then paid it off. There was no pressure from any of us," one of the agents said.
On July 28, the teen girl, who has accused expelled BJP lawmaker Kuldeep Sengar, 53, of raping her in 2017 when she went to him looking for a job, was travelling with her family and lawyer in a Swift Dzire sedan when the truck hit them.
CCTV footage on the morning of the day of the accident shows the truck passing through a toll plaza with blackened plates. The police have yet to explain why the truck wasn't stopped at that time.
The girl's family has alleged the crash was a "plot to eliminate" her. None of the security personnel deputed to guard her accompanied the girl. One of the guards told NDTV they had been asked to stay back by the family. Three police personnel, including the above cop, have been suspended.
According to a first information report filed by the girl's uncle after the accident, her security detail kept Kuldeep Sengar informed about travel plans and routes.
The CBI, which has been spurred into action by the Supreme Court's deadline, has conducted raids across 17 places in Uttar Pradesh. A team has also gone to Sitapur Jail, where Kuldeep Sengar has been lodged for a year, to check visitors' records.
On Friday, another team visited the scene of the crash to re-create the incident in the presence of forensic experts.
On Thursday, in a series of orders that highlighted its apparent distrust of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's government and its ability to protect the teenage rape survivor, the court ordered all cases linked to the Unnao rape survivor be shifted out of Uttar Pradesh and to Delhi. The court also demanded CRPF protection for the girl and her family and Rs. 25 lakh compensation to the survivor.
With input from ANI