Lucknow: The Unnao gang-rape complainant and her family have accused the CBI of trying to shield jailed BJP lawmaker Kuldeep Singh Sengar from charges of involvement in her father's murder despite "evidence" against him.
The Bangermau MLA, his brother Atul and four henchmen are accused of gang-raping the woman in June last year, and the brother and henchmen of beating her father severely in April this year for refusing to withdraw the case.
According to the family, the MLA then got the badly injured man arrested on false charges, leading to his death in jail from septicaemia - allegedly after a fresh round of thrashing in custody.
"The CBI chargesheet filed in a Lucknow court (on Saturday) is proof that the central agency wants to protect the politician," the woman's uncle told reporters at their home in Unnao, which falls in Bangermau, on Sunday.
The chargesheet accuses Atul and the four aides of murder but does not mention Kuldeep.
"I had personally provided them with audio footage (of a purported mobile phone conversation) in which Kuldeep told me that my brother would face dire consequences if he didn't stop pursuing the gang-rape case," the complainant's uncle said.
"Media reports have quoted certain senior police officers as admitting that Kuldeep had called or met them and forced them to arrest my brother at a time he was badly injured. I suspect the CBI has destroyed the evidence against the MLA."
The woman said: "We had demanded a CBI probe because we feared the state police would work under pressure. But we have confirmed information that the police had handed evidence to the CBI that showed the MLA was involved in the murder of my father."
A CBI source claimed that Kuldeep's role in the murder was still under investigation. "We cannot rule out a second chargesheet," he said. "In any case, his name will figure in the gang-rape chargesheet, to be filed soon."
After the police had initially refused to register a case against the MLA, the woman's father had petitioned the courts to have an FIR filed.
Atul and the Sengars' henchmen allegedly tied the father to a tree in his village and beat him mercilessly on April 3 this year. The police then arrested the father in an allegedly false Arms Act case, over which two sub-inspectors are in jail.
The woman and her mother tried to immolate themselves in front of chief minister Yogi Adityanath's residence in Lucknow on April 8, bringing the case into national spotlight. The father died in Unnao jail the next day, the post-mortem revealing old as well as fresh injuries, implying he was thrashed in jail too.
It's not clear whether the CBI is probing any custody torture. No policeman has been mentioned in the chargesheet.