The alleged rape victim and her male friend who immolated themselves on Facebook live on 16th august outside the Supreme Court succumbed to their injuries and died. The male friend died on august 21 and the rape victim died shortly after on August 24th.
The woman, who hails from Ghazipur, of eastern Uttar Pradesh, was on ventilator support after sustaining 80% burn injuries in the incident and the man had 70% burns on his body.
On Facebook live, the woman had accused at least five senior Uttar Pradesh police officers of harassing her in order to save the MP in the case she filed against him. In the 10-minute-long video, she also revealed that she was being framed in a false case.
In her complaint to the police, the woman alleged that Atul Rai -who is an MP of the Bahujan Samaj Party, had called her to his house to meet his wife on March 5, 2019, but instead forced himself on her when she reached his house. She also accused the MP of recording the act and using it to blackmail her from approaching the police.
Last week, after the couple’s self-immolation, the UP police said that Rai was arrested on the woman’s complaint and a charge sheet was also filed against him. They also suspended two policemen, sub-inspector Girija Shankar Yadav and Varanasi Cantt SHO Rakesh Singh, and also initiated departmental action against them for deficiencies in another case which the woman alleged was filed to harass her.
The UP Government on august 17 had set up a two-member team headed by a DG rank officer to investigate all FIRs related to the alleged rape victim and her male friend.
The government has also asked the team to investigate the allegations made by the woman against additional director general Neera Rawat and, RK Vishwakarma- DG Uttar Pradesh Police Recruitment & Promotion Board, in the video, and submit a report within two weeks.
A senior Delhi police officer, who asked that he shall not be named, said, “We are investigating the legal aspects of this case. The UP police are already investigating the case. They also went to the hospital last week but could not record her statement. If necessary, we will write to Facebook and use the live video to file an FIR. ”
Delhi police are yet to receive a complaint related to the self-immolation case outside the Supreme Court. They said that they did contact the woman’s mother but she refused to comment on the incident.
So far, the investigation has revealed that the two have known each other for the past 7-8 years and have been active in politics since their academic years.
Locals in the village of the 27-year-old man, who also immolated himself, said that he was a witness in the case.
According to the police, Pawan Kumar, who is Rai’s brother had filed a lawsuit against the 24-year-old woman in November 2020 at the Varanasi Cantonment police station, accusing her of falsifying her birth certificate, following which a local court in Varanasi issued a non-bailable offence against her.
Earlier this year, the woman approached the SC pleading a transfer of the case from Uttar Pradesh to a Delhi court. The Supreme Court on March 9 adjourned the trial and issued a notice to the arrested MP.