Unnao case | CBI cites lapses, recommends appropriate action against four officials

The CBI has recommended “appropriate action” against four officials, including an IAS officer, citing lapses in handling the case of rape of a minor girl by former BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar, officials said Wednesday.

The central agency, in its letter to the UP Government in August, has named the then DM Unnao and IAS officer Aditi Singh, the then Superintendent of Police and IPS officers Pushpanjali Devi and Neha Pandey posted in Unnao between 2017 and 2018 besides ASP Ashtbhuja Singh who was promoted to IPS in 2019, they said.

In its letter, the agency has underlined lapses in handling the rape case of the minor at Sengar’s residence in Makhi village, Bangarmau, Unnao by the MLA and subsequent harassment of the family by his henchmen, they said.

The CBI has not sought any disciplinary action instead it has only highlighted the lapses under these officers and left it on the Uttar Pradesh Government to take “appropriate action” in the light of the agency’s observations, they said.

Aditi Singh, a 2009-batch IAS officer, is presently the DM of Hapur. She was posted as DM Unnao between January 24, 2017 and October 25, 2017 and the victim had written a number of letters to her about the trauma suffered by her at the hands of the powerful ruling party MLA but no substantial action was taken, they said.

Neha Pandey, a 2009 batch IPS officer, is presently posted as Assistant Director in the Intelligence Bureau. She was the Superintendent of Police in Unnao between February, 2016 and October, 2017 and allegedly ignored plea of minor girl who was raped in June 2017, they said.

Pushpanjali Devi, a 2006 batch IPS officer and presently DIG railways, succeeded Pandey and remained SP in the district till April 30, 2018. She also allegedly did not pay any heed to prayers of the victim whose father was also framed in an arms act case and was beaten to death in the jail in April 2018, they said.

The then ASP Ashtbhuja Singh, now posted as Commandant PAC Fatehpur, was also posted in Unnao during the period but allegedly did not take adequate action on the complaints against Sengar, they said.

Last year in December, a Delhi court had convicted Sengar for raping the minor girl in Unnao in 2017 saying the victim’s testimony was “truthful and unblemished” against a “powerful person“.

The court had sentenced Sengar to life imprisonment for rape under the Indian Penal Code and the POCSO Act for offence of a public servant committing penetrative sexual assault against child.

“I found her statement truthful and unblemished that she was sexually assaulted. She was under threat, worried. She is a village girl, not from cosmopolitan educated area… Sengar was powerful person. So she took her time..,” the judge had said.

The court had noted that after the victim wrote letter to the UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, several criminal cases were filed against her family and “imprints of Sengar” were visible in them.

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