New Delhi: The conviction of expelled BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar brought a “smile” to the face of the rape survivor after ages, her sister told ThePrint.
Sengar was convicted by a special court Monday for raping the woman, who was 16 years old at the time, in Uttar Pradesh’s Unnao in June 2017.
The woman, who is still very weak and recovering at Delhi’s AIIMS after she met with an accident on 28 July and was critically injured, now demands “strict punishment” for Sengar.
The court is yet to decide on his sentencing and will hear arguments to decide the quantum of punishment Tuesday.
“We told her about Sengar’s conviction and she smiled. She could not say much as she is still so weak and is recovering from that deadly accident,” the sister said.
She added that even though the conviction had come as a relief, they will be content only if Sengar gets the strictest of punishment.
“The court convicted him today but he should now be given the strictest of punishment. We will consider that justice has been done once he is given a death sentence. A person like him, who used his power to sexually abuse and then oppress a minor, whose family worked under him, should not be given anything less than a death sentence,” she said.
“Even my sister (the survivor), who is still recovering at the hospital, is demanding a death sentence. Though she is happy that the court convicted him, she said that she wants to see the man go through the kind of pain she did,” she said.
The survivor had alleged that Sengar assaulted her on several occasions from the time she was an 11-year-old, including confining her in his house, forcing her to give up her studies and even threatening her with dire consequences if she ever raised her voice.
The woman’s sister also said that it took great courage for her to speak up against the powerful, knowing that she would not be heard. She said that the case and the conviction have set a good example and would encourage women to come forward and report such cases.
The court too observed that the case manifests multitudes of restrictions and taboos within which many women in the rural areas are brought up.
“It epitomises the fear ingrained in the mind of young girl in the countryside or elsewhere against reporting the issues of sexual assault by powerful adults,” the court said.
Upset over Shashi Singh’s acquittal
The CBI, in their charge sheet had named Sengar and his aide Shashi Singh under criminal conspiracy, kidnapping, criminal intimidation and sections of POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences).
Although Sengar has been convicted “beyond reasonable doubt”, Singh was given the benefit of doubt and acquitted of all charges.
According to the FIR, Singh was present in the verandah while the teenager was being raped.
“Shashi Singh too is as much responsible for the rape, but the court has let her off. Though the police booked her for the crime, they could not gather sufficient evidence against her. She should not have been let off,” the sister said.