My family living in fear: grandfather of woman who died after immolation bid outside SC

Mourning the untimely death of his 24-year-old granddaughter, who breathed her last in a Delhi hospital on Tuesday, the elderly gentleman alleged that BSP MP Atul Rai's men had threatened to kill his family.

His family is under threat and living in fear but determined to fight on, says the grieving grandfather of the woman who had accused a BSP MP of rape and died in Delhi days after she set herself on fire outside the Supreme Court.

Mourning the untimely death of his 24-year-old granddaughter, who breathed her last in a Delhi hospital on Tuesday, the elderly gentleman alleged that BSP MP Atul Rai’s men had threatened to kill his family.

“Henchmen of the MP used to come to our place and threaten to kill us. We are living in fear,” he told reporters.

Rai has been in jail since 2019, when the rape allegations were first made.

The woman and a friend had immolated themselves outside the apex court on August 16 when they were barred from entering the premises. The man, 27, suffered 65 per cent burns and died on Saturday. The woman had 85 per cent burns.

“A lot of pressure was mounted on my granddaughter. She faced it all and continued her fight (against the MP). We are economically weak but we will continue the fight. We never thought that we have to see such days,” her grandfather said.

The woman’s father had died following a cardiac arrest four years ago, he said.

“The MP fielded my granddaughter in student politics in Varanasi and later ruined her life. We will decide our future course of action when her mother and brother return from Delhi,” he said.

The woman’s grandparents live in a village here.

Her body was handed over to her family after a post-mortem following which they cremated her at Nigambodh Ghat in the national capital, Delhi Police officials said.

Rajkaran Naiyar, Superintendent of Police, Ballia, said the family will be provided security.

The woman had been summoned by a Allahabad court on charges of forgery and other charges. Allegations were also levelled against her for forging her birth papers by Rai’s brother.

In August, a local court in Varanasi issued a non-bailable warrant against her in the forgery case based on the complaint.

According to Delhi Police officials, before attempting suicide, the woman, along with her male friend, had recorded a Facebook Live video. She disclosed her identity in it and said she had filed the rape case against Rai in 2019.

She also alleged in the video that a few senior Uttar Pradesh police officers were supporting the accused.

Earlier, a senior police officer had said the man and the woman took the extreme step as a court had issued a non-bailable warrant against them in the case of forgery for allegedly submitting wrong proof of age in the rape case.

In her Facebook video, the woman had mentioned the warrant and said she had been summoned by the judge, police said.

The woman had filed a plea in the Supreme Court in March, seeking transfer of her case from the Allahabad court to Delhi for a fair trial, claiming that she faced a threat to her life.

Two Varanasi policemen — Varanasi Cantt SHO Rakesh Singh and investigation officer Girija Shankar — who were probing the case of forgery were suspended and an inquiry was initiated into the matter after she attempted suicide on August 16, police had said.

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