- Truck owner says number plates blackened as he was behind on EMIs
- Loan agent says the truck owner did not default
- CCTV clip from toll plaza shows truck passing with blackened numbers
In a new twist to investigations into the crash between a truck and the car carrying the Unnao rape survivor and her family, the truck owner's claim the number plates were blackened because he was behind on EMI payments has been countered by agents of the Kanpur-based firm that financed the vehicle's purchase.
"There is no pressure put on any one (for failing to pay installments on time). He had broken his EMI but then paid it off. There was no pressure from any of us," one of the agents told news agency ANI.
"He has financed his cars from here previously as well. His vehicle also has no-objection certificate. At present two vehicles are being financed by us," he added.
This statement has raised question marks over why the truck owner had claimed otherwise.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has taken the truck driver and the cleaner into three-day custody for questioning.
On Sunday, the teen girl, who has accused expelled BJP lawmaker Kuldeep Sengar 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. Two of her aunts - one of whom was a witness to the rape - died in the crash.
CCTV footage from a toll plaza on the morning of the day of the accident shows the truck passing through with blackened number 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 on Sunday's trip. One of the guards told NDTV they had been asked to stay back by the family, citing lack of space in the car. 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, the cops on her security detail kept the rape accused, Kuldeep Sengar, currently in jail, informed about her travel plans and routes.
The CBI, which has been spurred into action by the Supreme Court after a 14-day deadline was set, visited the scene of the crash on Friday to re-create the incident in the presence of forensic experts. The agency has also asked for details of Kuldeep Sengar's visitors in jail.
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 also demanded CRPF protection for the girl and her family and ordered the state government to pay Rs. 25 lakh compensation to the rape survivor.