A car in which the survivor of the Unnao rape case, her family and lawyer were traveling was hit by an over-speeding truck in Rae Bareli on Sunday, killing two members while leaving her and her advocate critically injured, police said. The survivor's mother has blamed BJP MLA Kuldeep Sengar, who is an accused in the rape case and had been arrested on April 13 last year, though not before a number of days of evading arrest, during the course of which the victim and had family had made every attempt to get the authorities to help her in her fight for justice.
Unnao Superintendent of Police Madhav Prasad Verma said the rape survivor, her paternal and maternal aunts along with their advocate met with an accident while on their way to meet her uncle, who is lodged in Rae Bareli jail.
The rape survivor's maternal aunt succumbed to injuries in a district hospital and the others were transferred to a trauma center in Lucknow, police said.
ADG Lucknow Rajeev Krishna said, "Two women were killed in the accident. The rape survivor and the lawyer are in a critical condition and undergoing treatment at the trauma center in Lucknow."
"The rape survivor's family had been provided security, but the gunner had not accompanied them on Sunday. The reason behind it is being probed," he said, adding, "The truck involved in the accident has been impounded. It has a Fatehpur district registration plate." The UP Police later said that the victim had requested the gunner to not travel with them because of there not being sufficient space in the car.
Unnao SP Verma said that on the directives of senior officials, he along with the mother of the rape survivor, her three sisters and brother were rushing to Lucknow.
The SP also said, "It has come to light that the gunner who usually accompanies the family did not go with them. Why the gunner did not accompany them is being probed, and based on its outcome, action will be initiated accordingly."
UP DGP OP Singh, speaking to reporters, assured that the probe into the road accident would be free and fair, and that as per primary information it was purely due to overspeeding of the truck, the driver and owner of which have been arrested. He said that the case would be handed over to the CBI if the family demands it.
In terms of the security not being present, the DGP said that there was no negligence, rather, that the victim had allegedly requested the security personnel to not accompany her because there was a lack of space in her vehicle.
Meanwhile, UP Congress leader Aradhana Mishra, who went to visit the injured on the directions of Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra told reporters, "The rape survivor is in a very critical condition and the advocate is on a ventilator. According to doctors, one person had died on the spot, while another was declared dead upon their arrival at the trauma center."
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra took to Twitter to express her shock over the accident. She questioned the progress of the CBI investigation, the continuance of the accused MLA in the BJP and the safety of victims and witnesses in the state. She wrote:
"The road accident of the Unnao Rape victim is shocking.
Where has the CBI probe in this case reached? Why is the accused MLA still in the BJP? Why the laxity in security for the victim and witnesses?
Without answers to these questions, can there be any expectation of justice form the BJP government?"
Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Sunil Saalan said that the party would offer all the support and aid to the victim. He said that 'the high-profile case' needed to be probed further and said that party president Akhilesh Yadav will extend all possible help to the family.
Quoting eyewitnesses, Rae Bareli Superintendent of Police Sunil Kumar Singh said that an over-speeding truck hit the car carrying the rape survivor.
"There were showers and the truck driver lost control over the vehicle which rammed into the car," he said.
The truck driver fled from the spot after the accident.
The ghastly Unnao Rape case goes back almost two years and had burst into public consciousness in 2018 after a woman belonging to Makhi police station area in Unnao had alleged that Sengar, a four-time MLA who represents Bangermau in the UP Assembly, raped her teenage daughter at his residence in 2017, following which, in a desperate attempt to get justice, the victim attempted self-immolation outside Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's residence.