Two Varanasi policemen have been suspended after a woman, who accused BSP MP Atul Rai of raping her, set herself ablaze along with her male friend outside the Supreme Court.
Varanasi Cantt SHO Rakesh Singh and sub-inspector Girija Shankar Yadav were suspended on Tuesday and departmental action was initiated against them for not properly compiling evidence in another cheating case involving the woman, a day after a woman and a man set themselves on fire.
According to police, the case was launched in November 2020 on the direction of a court in Varanasi and was probed by Yadav. It also concerns forgery and hiding her age.
A police official stated that the matter will now be investigated by another officer, Vedprakash Rai, who has been promoted to the station’s SHO.
The woman and her companion recorded a Facebook live video before attempting suicide, in which she revealed her name and said she had filed a sexual assault lawsuit against the BSP MP. She further stated that the MP had the support of several top police officers and others.
She attempted suicide, according to police, because she was afraid of being used in fraud prosecutions.
In the sexual assault case, the MP was arrested and has been in judicial detention for the last two years. In December 2020, the woman filed a new complaint with the Lanka police station in Varanasi, saying that the MP and his friend, Sudhir Singh, were defaming her and spreading misinformation on social media. Following that, a case was filed at the Lanka police station under the section of the IT Act.
Meanwhile, Pawan Singh, the MP’s brother, filed a court motion saying that the woman faked her date of birth to hide her age and urging the court to conduct a police investigation.
Following the court’s decision, a complaint was filed against the woman in November 2020 at Cantt police station under sections 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing handover of property), 467 (forgery), 471 (using as genuine a forged document) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code.
In the first week of August this year, a non-bailable warrant was issued against the woman after the investigator notified the court that she could not be located after repeated visits to her home.