Teen rape victim critical in suspicious crash


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Anubhav Yadav

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Two women relatives of the girl died in the crash on Sunday afternoon

A teenager who accused a ruling party lawmaker of rape in 2017 has been seriously injured in a road accident in India’s northern Uttar Pradesh state.

The 19-year-old was travelling in a car with her lawyer and two relatives when it hit a lorry on a state highway.

The two female relatives of the girl have died and her lawyer is also in hospital with serious injuries.

The girl’s accusations against lawmaker Kuldeep Singh Sengar saw him arrested. He has been in jail for over a year.

Local police officer Rakesh Singh told BBC Hindi that the truck driver and owner of the vehicle have been arrested and taken in for questioning. Reports say the vehicle’s registration plate was smeared with black paint.

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Anubhav Yadav

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The registration plates of the truck had been smeared with black paint

“We’ll conduct a forensic investigation of the truck and the number plates,” senior police officer Rajiv Krishna told the NDTV news channel.

Opposition parties in the state have called for a federal investigation into the incident, saying the circumstances of the crash are “suspicious”.

The leader of the state’s main opposition Samajwadi Party, Akhilesh Yadav, was quoted by Hindustan Times newspaper as saying the incident “could be a murder attempt”.

The victim was on the way to a prison to meet her uncle – who is lodged there in connection with a different case – when the crash happened in Rae Bareli district on Sunday afternoon.

Police said the girl and her family had been provided with security, but “our information suggests the security wasn’t with them” on Sunday.

“It seems they refused it. A probe has been ordered,” police official MP Verma told NDTV.

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Kuldeep Sengar is in prison in connection with the alleged rape

Last April, the girl attempted to set herself on fire outside the residence of state chief minister Yogi Adityanath alleging that Sengar had kidnapped and raped her.

A day later, the victim’s father died in prison. He had been allegedly assaulted by the lawmaker and his supporters a week before.

India’s federal investigation agency took over the case last year and arrested Senger and 10 others.

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