Unnao teen allegedly raped by BJP MLA isn’t interested in knowing about #MeToo movement. Says speaking up has done nothing for her.
New Delhi: The Unnao teen allegedly raped by a BJP MLA has said she will get justice only when the Uttar Pradesh legislator is thrown out of the party by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, days after mounting pressure saw union minister M.J. Akbar quit following allegations of sexual harassment.
“The day he is kicked out of the party, I will get justice,” the teen told ThePrint, referring to MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar.
“Right now, he is too powerful…It is impossible to challenge his might. The day he has no party, I will be able to challenge him,” she said in an unwavering voice.
Sengar, a four-time MLA who represents Bangermau in the UP legislative assembly, was arrested on 13 April after the minor girl accused him of raping her at his house on 4 June last year.
The case came to light after the victim allegedly attempted self-immolation outside Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s residence seeking justice. The father of the victim died in police custody, allegedly after being assaulted by Sengar’s men.
Questions have been raised on why the BJP has not taken any action against Sengar even though he is behind bars for allegedly raping a minor while Akbar had to resign after facing multiple allegations of sexual harassment.
‘What has speaking up given me?’
The girl has no clue of the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment raging across some Indian cities and forced Akbar to resign – and she is not interested in knowing about it either.
“I don’t have a phone, I don’t watch TV, so I have no idea what is going on…The only thing that is on my mind is my father,” she said. “Had I kept quiet about what happened with me, he would have been with us…I keep thinking about him all day.”
“What has speaking up given me? The government has done nothing for me or my family – no aid, no compensation…I have just lost my father,” she said.
“He has done so much harm to me…raped me and then killed my father. Why is he still in the party?” the teen asked. “The PM keeps talking of Beti Bachao, but I think all that is a lie.”
‘He can get me killed sitting in jail’
“Now, even if I watch a film, and there is some violence in it, I think about what my father may have been through, and stop watching it,” she said.
The victim now lives in Delhi with her uncle, while her mother and five siblings continue to live in Unnao. She does not want to go back to her own village because she is afraid that like her father, she too will be killed.
“He can get me killed even from jail…He is very powerful,” she said. “His men in the village keep saying that whenever they will see me, they will kill me, so I don’t go to my village.”
Such is the clout of Sengar in Unnao, that despite her case making national headlines earlier this year, she thinks people will still vote for him the next time. “He is just too powerful…People vote for him out of fear. That’s why nobody is standing with us today – they are all scared.”
Speaking of ambition, the minor who has lost more in life than she ever had, says, “I can’t study or work now, it is too late.”
“As far as marriage is concerned, people are scared to approach our family because they think they will also be killed…That is why my elder sister is not getting offers,” she said.
For her, marriage is a distant goal. “I will not think about marriage till I get justice…No matter how many years it takes.”