New Delhi (dpa) - An Indian lawmaker accused of raping a teenage woman and threatening her family has been expelled by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party as India’s top court ordered a fast-track rape trial as well as protection and compensation for the victim.
Kuldeep Sengar, a member of the assembly of Uttar Pradesh state, was sacked days after the rape victim and her lawyer were critically wounded and two of her relatives killed in a car crash involving a speeding truck.
The 19-year-old woman and lawyer were in critical condition but stable, according to doctors of the hospital in state capital Lucknow. The woman’s family and opposition parties have alleged that Sunday’s crash was a deliberate attempt on her life by Sengar. The Supreme Court ordered that the murder probe into the car crash be completed in seven days time. It also ordered the rape trial moved out of Sengar’s home state of Uttar Pradesh and mandated that the trial, which will now be handed to a court in New Delhi, be completed 45 days after its commencement.
Critics see the BJP’s decision Thursday as belated, since the criminal case against Sengar has dragged on for more than a year. There have been allegations that he was being shielded by ruling party politicians.
The case has prompted widespread anger in the country. A federal murder investigation has been opened into the crash and the allegations against Sengar brought by the family.
India, (dpa international)
Aug 1, 2019