NEW DELHI: A global human rights body today said the Unnao gangrape case, allegedly involving a BJP MLA, and the subsequent death of the woman's father in judicial custody, painted a "chilling picture", and demanded an independent investigation.
Amnesty International India's Programmes Director Asmita Basu, in a statement also urged the Uttar Pradesh government to respond to the notices issued by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in this case and ensure that the perpetrators are brought to justice.
The NHRC had yesterday sent a notice to the Uttar Pradesh government and the state police chief seeking a detailed report on the custodial death of the 50-year-old man after his daughter had accused a BJP MLA and his aides of gangrape in Unnao, and asked the authorities to ensure "the aggrieved family is not subjected to further harassment".
Days after the 18-year-old woman accused BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar, his brother Atul Singh and his aides of raping her, her father had died in custody on Monday.
Prior to her father's death, the woman had also tried to immolate herself outside the Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's house in Lucknow.
The death of her father in custody while seeking justice for his daughter, "suggests that the UP police have turned their backs on human rights," the Amnesty India said.
The alleged failure of the Uttar Pradesh police in registering an FIR against the MLA, the harassment faced by the woman and her family, and the death of her father in custody, "paint a chilling picture", the rights body said.
There must be an immediate, independent and impartial investigation into these alleged violations, and "authorities must take all steps to ensure that the survivor and her family are protected from any further harassment," the statement said.