Priyanka Gandhi, Akhilesh link Unnao rape case accused to BJP

The Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh on Saturday came under fire from opposition parties over the death of the Unnao rape victim.

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav linked the accused to the BJP, and Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati met the Governor and submitted a memorandum, demanding action against the culprits.

Ms. Vadra met the kin of the victim in Unnao and said later that the family was harassed for the past one year. Mr. Yadav sat on a dharna in front of the Assembly to mourn the death of the 23-year-old woman.

The victim, who was airlifted to New Delhi and admitted to Safdarjung Hospital after she was set on fire by the five accused on December 5, died of injuries on the night of December 6. The five accused have been arrested. Amid the developments, the father of the victim demanded that the accused either be hanged or be shot dead in a Hyderabad-type ‘encounter’. “I only have one demand. The incident that took place in Hyderabad, and the way they were shot, these people should either be hanged or similarly shot dead,” he said.

In his case, the gram pradhan, one of the five accused, had thrashed him and threatened to shoot him or get his daughter burnt or killed, he added. Mr. Adityanath, who had directed Ministers Swami Prasad Maurya and Kamal Rani Varun to visit the victim’s family, said the case would be put on trial in a fast track court. The government announced ₹25 lakh as ex gratia for the family.

“The government’s full empathy is with the victim’s family. The criminals won’t be spared,” said Mr. Maurya. He countered allegations by the Opposition parties, saying his government stood with the victim’s family. “We don’t want to go into what the Opposition is saying. This is not an issue for politics. We are committed to getting justice for the affected family,” he said.

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