They’re all the same, including BJP

By Vijay Badhwar

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a nationalist and an idealist. His ”˜Mann ki Baat’, a monthly broadcast on All India Radio, is a popular interaction with people on his thoughts about all aspects of life and nation building, but, it seems, what he preaches falls on deaf ears within his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) that carries the unenviable title as a party with most criminally-charged law-makers in India (BJP 116, Congress 29, Janata Dal 13, DMK 10, TMC 9).

Recently expelled MLA from BJP, Kuldeep Singh Sengar is allegedly one among them. A 17-year-old girl from his village had to attempt immolation in front of state Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s residence even to register a case of rape against Sengar. He was finally arrested and lodged in jail in April last year from where he contested the recent election and won! BJP stalwart from UP Sakshi Maharaj went to jail to congratulate the notorious MLA.

Last week on 28 July, a truck, whose number plates were blackened, ran into the car the victim was travelling in with her two aunts and the lawyer. The aunts were killed in the accident and the victim and her lawyer are in serious condition in the hospital.

Her family had been constantly harassed and threatened to withdraw the charges against the MLA. Her father had escaped to Delhi following the threats and was allegedly beaten up by Kuldeep’s brother, Atul, when he came to attend a court hearing. In addition to the beating, with the police in cahoots with the politician, the father was taken in custody where he later died of injuries.

Following a nationwide outrage after the truck accident, the BJP hierarchy finally woke up to take some action against the four-term politician, first suspending him and then expelling Sengar from the party.

After a two-year delay, the case has now been handed to CBI to investigate the rape charges as well as the truck accident. The Chief Justice of India, Ranjan Gogoi, has directed the UP District Magistrate to issue a Rs 25 lakh compensation to the victim’s family and also to complete the trial within 45 days.

Kuldeep Sengar was a BSP member when he first won a parliamentary seat in 2002, then joined SP and won twice in 2005 and 2012. Following a feud in SP between father Mulayam Singh Yadav and son Akhilesh, he saw an opportunity in BJP and joined the party in 2017.

His brother Atul Sengar is notorious for his criminal activities. He, in 2004, had fired a shot at an IPS officer Ramlal Verma who had come to investigate illegal mining activities in the area. Although a case was registered, there has until now been no court hearing. The officer, now transferred, followed up the cause of no action under ”˜Freedom of Information’ and discovered that the whole case file had gone missing.

The minor girl allegedly was lured at a pretext of finding her a job by one Shashi Singh but was raped by her son and a driver, then sold for Rs 60,000. The girl later added that she was also  raped by Kuldeep Sengar.

The Sengar family has a vice-like grip on the area constituents who cannot speak ill of the MLA and his wife who heads the Panchayat. They have an imposing mansion, a large parcel of land, a brick kiln and also a dominating Ram temple for all the forgiveness they need. Stories abound that the feud started when the victim’s mother filed application for Panchayat election against Kuldeep Sengar’s wife. Although she withdrew, the threats and intimidation started.

The jungle raj has no limits when the police is in the pocket of criminals, especially when they are also law-makers. Mr Modi should include in his Mann Ki Baat a lesson from Japanese police who respect and customarily bow to all citizens.

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