Kuldeep Singh Sengar, a lawmaker from Bangarmau in Unnao, was arrested by the CBI in April.
New Delhi: Months after his arrest, BJP lawmaker Kuldeep Singh Sengar has been charged by the CBI with raping a 15-year-old in Unnao in Uttar Pradesh, a case in which action was taken only after the girl tried to commit suicide opposite Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's house. The politician, who remains in the ruling party, has been threatening the teen's family and witnesses from jail, a relative has alleged, questioning why the BJP hasn't expelled him.
Here are the top 10 points in this big story:
"The CBI has done the right thing but Sengar is still in a party that rules the centre and UP. Why hasn't he been thrown out even after the chargesheet," questioned the rape survivor's uncle.
The girl's uncle said "Witnesses are being threatened from jail. They are told leave the village for one or two years, plan a living there and come back when the case is over...Or you will be killed."
The family says the administration has refused to help because Sengar is a BJP lawmaker. "There can't be any justice unless he is thrown out of party," said the relative.
A BJP leader was non-committal on any possible action against Sengar and said it was too soon. "We are keeping an eye on developments, We will look into this and take a call depending on what needs to be done keeping in mind the image of the party. The chargesheet has happened just now, we can't take a call so soon," said Dr Chandramohan, BJP spokesperson in UP.
Reminded about Prime Minister Narendra Modi's recent dig at the Congress "bail-gaadi" - leaders out on bail - the BJP leader's response was: "We are not like the Congress. Their senior leaders are out on bail. This MLA is just a regional leader. Is he part of the leadership team?"
Sengar was arrested in April amid outrage over the allegations of the girl, who said she was raped when she visited the politician's home for a job in 2017.
In April, nearly a year after her assault, the girl tried to set herself on fire outside the home of Yogi Adityanath.
The girl's father, who kept pursuing her case, died after he was detained by cops and severely beaten allegedly by Sengar's brother.
Sengar, who, like his brother was not charged until the crime made national headlines, had smiled and bragged on television that he and his family would be proven innocent. The crimes in CBI's charge-sheet listed against Sengar include rape, criminal conspiracy and child sex offences.
The Samajwadi Party slammed the BJP and Yogi Adityanath over the lawmaker. "The victim and her family are on record talking about intimidation and harassment at the hands of Sengar, and yet the government and Yogi Adityanath is doing nothing. Perhaps the chief minister picks and chooses the criminals he wants to protect and indulges in fake encounters related to the rest," said the party's Juhi Singh.