The Unnao rape case has shaken the conscience of the entire nation, especially because it has come into limelight days after the Hyderabad rape case. Now as per reports, a major fact has come to light in the case. Several reports have claimed that the victim had a marriage agreement with the main accused. According to initial reports, the Unnao victim had given her statement before the Magistrate, in which she stated that the two accused- Shivam and Shubham Trivedi had abducted and raped her in December 2018.
She had filed a complaint against the two rape accused in March this year and Shubham Trivedi who has in jail was released on bail on November 30 this year. She also said that after being released, Shubham Trivedi had started following and threatening her. Initial reports also reveal that on the fateful day, the victim was on her way to a Rae Bareli Court when she was abducted and burnt by five men, including the rape accused whose names she revealed in her statement before the Magistrate. Unnao police had arrested the four of the accused from their houses in the same village while they were sleeping, while the fifth accused surrendered at the Bihar police station.
The victim had sustained serious burn injuries and more than 90 per cent of her body got burnt. Initially, she was admitted to a Lucknow Hospital and was later transferred to the Safdarjung Hospital in the National Capital, but she couldn’t survive and ultimately succumbed to her burn injuries.
Now, a big revelation has taken place in the Unnao rape-murder case as the main accused, Shivam Trivedi had signed a marriage agreement with the victim and then solemnised the marriage in December 2018. The agreement read, “We declare that we have solemnized our marriage in a temple on January 15, 2018, according to Hindu traditions with our free will. We are living with each other as wife and husband. We are signing this agreement to avoid any legal hindrance.”
Sources further point out a caste angle and say that the family of the accused refused to accept the deceased victim as she belonged to a lower caste. This made the woman file a rape case against her ‘husband’. What was the validity of this marriage agreement and whether there was a valid, subsisting marriage is now for the Courts to decide.
Meanwhile, the family of the accused has also come out with a different version than the one which is being largely reported by the media. The families of the rape accused- Shivam and Shubham Tiwari, their fathers Ramkishor Trivedi and Harishankar Trivedi respectively, and the fifth associate Umesh Bajpai, have claimed that they are being implicated in the case. They have also demanded a CBI probe.
Shivam’s mother Saroj Trivedi has claimed that her husband and son were sleeping at home when the victim was set ablaze at around 4:15 am on the fateful day. She said, “At 5:13 a.m., Shivam’s friend called him for a run. He was preparing for police job. At 5:30 a.m., he put on his clothes and left home. Police came at 6 a.m. and asked about him. After that, the police went to the location near our borewell in search of him along with my nephew.” Umesh Bajpai’s sister has claimed that her brother was being made a victim of media trial. She has also claimed that Umesh was sleeping when the police came to arrest him. She asked, “Wouldn’t he have escaped somewhere if he had committed the crime.”
Shubham Trivedi’s family has also accused the media of showing only a one-sided story, and not showing their version. A Hindi news website, Breakingtube has claimed that Shivam Trivedi and the victim had got their marriage agreement registered in a Rae Bareli Civil Court, but both the families rejected the marriage. The family of Shubham Trivedi however insists that Shivam and the victim never got married and Shivam had called off what they describe as a marriage proposal, even though the family had accepted the marriage proposal. They further claim that the rape case was filed only after the deceased victim got enraged over the cancellation of marriage proposal. After this, sources say that she filed a complaint against the accused. The village locals have also given a different version of the entire incident.
It is clear that the accused have a different version of the entire incident. Moreover, there are several sets of facts doing the rounds and there is an alleged fact of marriage which does not corrborate the version of either the prosecution or the accused. The future court hearings will ultimately reveal the true facts of the case.