LUCKNOW: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has indicted three women officers for laxity and negligence in handling the infamous Unnao rape case in which expelled BJP leader and disqualified Bangarmau MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar was convicted and jailed for 10 years.
As per the highly placed sources, the premier probe agency has even recommended the state government to initiate a departmental inquiry against the three women officers -- the then Unnao DM and two SPs -- for their lackadaisical approach intentional inaction. The CBI has stated that the three top officers failed to do the needful when the matter was reported.
The three officers indicted by the CBI are the then Unnao district magistrate Aditi Singh and two SPs – Neha Pandey and Pushpanjali Singh. An additional SP level officer Ashtabhuja Singh, who was also posted in the district at the time of the incident, was found guilty of slackness in the case and action against him has also been recommended by the probe agency. The then additional SP has now been promoted to IPS cadre and currently serves commandant PAC 12th battalion in Ambedkarnagar.
The sources claimed that the CBI had sent names of the officers to the Uttar Pradesh government in the last week of February. However, the agency had not mentioned specific names. They resent the information to the state home department last month.
2009 batch IAS officer Aditi Singh was posted as DM Unnao from January 24, 2017, to October 26, 2017. Singh is currently posted as DM Hapur. Similarly, Neha Pandey, a 2009-batch IPS officer, had served as SP Unnao from February 2, 2016, to October 26, 2017. Pandey is currently on deputation in the Intelligence Bureau (IB).
Meanwhile, Pushpanjali Devi, 2006-batch Manipur cadre IPS officer, served as SP Unnao from October 27, to April 30, 2018. She got a promotion last year and is currently posted as DIG-GRP Lucknow. Notably, the incident of rape had come to light in Makhi village under Baganrmau assembly constituency in Unnao district when the minor girl attempted self-immolation outside Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's official residence in Lucknow in April, 2017. Then the FIR against the perpetrators including Kuldeep Sengar, his acquaintance Shashi Singh, her son and Sengar’s brothers was lodged under relevant sections of IPC pertaining to kidnapping and rape.
The girl resorted to extreme step after her father was arrested by Makhi police and beaten up by Sengar's brother Atul Sengar in custody. This led to his custodial death due to the injuries he had sustained while being thrashed. The state government then recommended the CBI probe into the case and both the Sengars, along with their two acquaintances, were arrested. Subsequently, the girl met with a near-fatal accident while on way to Rae Bareli losing two of her aunts on July 28, last year. She had also received severe head injuries and multiple fractures. She was taken to AIIMS in New Delhi on the directives of the Supreme Court and recovered after prolonged treatment.
Taking cognizance of the incidents and also a letter written by the survivor, the Supreme Court transferred all the case related to rape, custodial death of her father and the accident to Tis Hazari court in Delhi. The apex court also ordered the subordinate court to conduct a trial on a daily basis and complete the proceedings within 45 days. The court framed charges against the Sengar and Shashi Singh under Sections 120 B (criminal conspiracy), 363 (kidnapping), 366 (kidnapping or inducing a woman to compel for marriage), 376 (rape) of the IPC and other relevant sections of the POCSO Act.
CBI, on the basis of the allegations by the girl's family, had questioned the three named officers for not entertaining her complaint of rape against the BJP MLA and rather helping the MLA and his aides. A CBI official disclosed that first, the incident of rape with the Unnao girl occurred in June 2017, when Neha Pandey was district police chief. Similarly, the survivor's family had alleged that on April 3, 2018, Pushanjali Devi had not entertained their complaint at the Makhi police station when the girl's father was assaulted by the siblings of MLA.