The woman accused a jailed BSP MP & some cops of harassing them.
LUCKNOW/NEW DELHI: A man and a woman, both in their early 20s, tried to allegedly immolate themselves outside the Supreme Court on Monday afternoon. Police said the two were standing outside the court complex when they poured kerosene on themselves and set themselves on fire. Police and security officials rushed to douse the flames and took them to hospital where they are undergoing treatment. The two have received around 65-70 per cent burns and are unfit for making a statement.
The girl belongs to Ballia and the man to Ghazipur, say police. The woman did a Facebook Live for 10 minutes, just before the incident, in which she accused BSP MP from Ghosi, Atul Rai, of harassing her and the man by implicating them in a false case after she filed a case against Rai for allegedly sexually harassing her. Rai is in jail for the last two years. She had filed a case against him at a police station in Varanasi on May 1, 2019, claiming the incident took place at his apartment. She had also levelled allegations of harassment against Ghaziabad SSP Amit Pathak and another IPS officer.
Immolation attempt outside SC: Woman alleged rape by MP
In a late evening development on Monday, Ghaziabad SSP Amit Pathak was attached to the DGP headquarters in Lucknow. Although no reason was ascribed to his sudden transfer as he had been posted in Ghaziabad just four months ago, the move came just a few hours after the rape survivor’s immolation bid. Pawan Kumar, who was Moradabad SSP, will replace him. Babloo Kumar, SP, ATS, will be the new Moradabad SSP.
A student at a college in Varanasi, the woman had alleged in her complaint that Rai had invited her to his Lanka apartment in Varanasi to introduce her to his wife. On March 7, when she went to meet the MP’s wife, she alleged she was raped by Rai. She had also alleged that Rai had recorded a video and, thereafter, used it to stop her from lodging an FIR about the incident.
Rai, who won in the parliamentary elections, was declared an absconder by a local court on May 20, 2019. On June 22, 2019, he surrendered before judicial magistrate Ashutosh Tiwari and was remanded in 14-day judicial custody. He has been in jail since then.
Meanwhile, in November 2020, Rai’s brother Pawan Kumar lodged a complaint with the Cantonment police station in Varanasi, accusing the woman of having forged her date of birth in documents attached to her rape complaint. He cited a 2015 case where the woman had allegedly accused a student leader of molestation.
In the marksheet that she had attached with the police complaint, her date of birth was mentioned as March 10, 1997. But four years later (in 2019) when she got a rape case registered against Rai, she submitted her high school marksheet in which her date of birth was mentioned as June 10, 1997, Pawan Kumar’s complaint said.
Varanasi police then registered a case against the woman and her associate under IPC Sections 419 (cheating by personation), 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), 467 (forgery), 468 (purpose of cheating), 471 (using as genuine a forged document) and120-B (criminal conspiracy).
In August first week this year, a district court in Varanasi issued a non-bailable warrant against the woman and her associate in the case following a police report that the two had reportedly absconded.
Earlier, in December 2020, the woman had filed another complaint against the jailed MP and his close associate, Sudhir Singh, accusing the two of defaming her through propaganda on social media. The FIR was lodged at the Lanka police station in Varanasi under sections of the Information Technology Act.
The complainant early this year had also moved the Supreme Court, seeking to transfer the rape case from Varanasi to Delhi, fearing a threat to her life after she was allegedly attacked by the MP’s men when she was going for a hearing at Varanasi. The SC had on March 9 stayed the ongoing rape case trial in Varanasi and issued a notice to the accused MP.
During the Facebook Live, the woman made allegations against some police officers and judges too. Later, the man took over and the two walked towards the Supreme Court, poured some liquid on themselves, reportedly kerosene, and set themselves on fire. The mobile phone then fell down, and for about three minutes, only the screams of the two could be heard.
“It’s not clear why they took this step as both are unfit for statement. Their families have been contacted and they said that they had cut off ties with them a long time back,” said DCP (New Delhi) Deepak Yadav. “Their mobile phones were not found at the location. As soon as the two set themselves ablaze, the security and police officials deployed there tried to douse the flames and rushed them to hospital. The area was cordoned off and a crime team inspected the spot. No case has been registered and investigations are under way.”
Ghaziabad SSP shifted, attached to DGP office
In late evening on Monday, Ghaziabad SSP Amit Pathak was attached to the DGP headquarters in Lucknow. Although no reason was ascribed to his sudden transfer as he had been posted in Ghaziabad just four months ago, the move came just a few hours after a rape survivor tried to immolate self outside the Supreme Court, accusing him and another IPS officer, apart from BSP MP Atul Rai, of harassing her.
Pawan Kumar, who was Moradabad SSP, will replace him. Babloo Kumar, SP, ATS, will be the new Moradabad SSP.
(The victim’s identity has not been revealed to protect her privacy as per Supreme court directives on cases related to sexual assault)