A woman who had accused Atul Rai, the Bahujan Samaj Party MP from Ghosi of rape back in 2019, set herself on fire along with a male friend outside the Supreme Court on Monday noon. They took this extreme step after the court issued a non-bailable warrant against them in a case of forgery for allegedly submitting the wrong proof of her age in the rape case.
The two drenched themselves with kerosene and set themselves on fire in front of the Supreme Court Gate No. 4, after going live on Facebook, accusing Varanasi’s former Superintendent of Police Amit Pathak, Cantt police station’s SHO Singh, IO Girija Shankar and other police officials of harassing them at the behest of the jailed MP. The 24-year-old woman sustained 85 per cent burns in the immolation bid, while her 27-year-old male friend suffered 65 per cent burns. Officials informed that while the man died on Saturday morning, the woman is now on ventilator support.
Two Varanasi policemen are suspended after the incident, the deferred police officials include SHO Rakesh Singh and investigation officer Girija Shankar, probing a case of forgery against the rape victim, police said in a statement.
The woman alleged that Rai raped her in his flat in the Lanka area of Varanasi and also shot a video of the disgusting act. Rai was sentenced to jail in connection with the case, but his brother had lodged a complaint in Varanasi against the woman back in November last year for allegedly forging documents about her date of birth. On August 2, a local court in Varanasi issued a non-bailable warrant against her after the police told the court that she has “remained untraceable despite several raids”.
Both the Delhi police and UP Police have initiated an inquiry into the matter but haven’t been able to record the victims’ statements. The UP government formed a two-member committee headed by a DG-level officer and sent them to Delhi on Friday to inspect the spot and talk to the families of the woman and the man.
Political biases in the media threaten democracy. It is necessary to take charge against Atul Rai and his supporters; their brand of politics is based on sheer opportunism and criminalization, the liberal national media that overshadow such incidents based on political prejudices are also responsible for the same. Shockingly, the so-called liberal media don’t cover the big stories, instead, they cover the narratives that further the points, they have previously made. Such selective reporting reinforces the belief that public spaces are unsafe for women. Liberal Media had always been supportive of the BSP, glorifying their acts, this is the sole reason because of which, this horrifying act hasn’t been stormed in social media and been viral in the national media. Supposedly, Atul Rai had been from the BJP, national media would have been heated with this incident and there would have been an ongoing protest against the same. Where is the plight of the liberal media to fight for justice now?
It is indeed heart wrenching to witness the biases of liberal media against this horrific act.