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I am getting threats from my seniors: Banda jail warden

Lucknow: The Banda rape case turned murkier on Monday with the warden of the district jail alleging that she was getting life threats from her senior officers for speaking out against prime accused BSP MLA Purshottam Naresh Dwiwedi, prompting the State prison department to order an inquiry.

Shahnaz Begum alleged that during the course of CB-CID probe into the rape of a 17-year-old dalit girl by Dwiwedi and two of his aides, she was asked by her seniors to keep her mouth shut or face the consequences.

“I have been getting life threats from seniors, including the jailor and deputy jailor. I have also been removed from jail duty,” said Ms. Shahnaz, warden of Banda district jail where the rape victim was lodged for a month on theft charges.

Following her complaint, Additional Director-General (Prisons) V. K. Gupta said that an inquiry has been ordered into the matter.

Ms. Shahnaz was the lone jail staffer who spoke out against the BSP MLA during the CB-CID probe. She also threatened to immolate herself to protest against her alleged harassment.

“Whatever I have said is true and I will stand by it. I now want myself to be transferred from here (Banda),” she told reporters in Banda.

“Though the allegation seems to be very vague as the jail warden had not conveyed her fear during the visit of National Commission for Women and even CB-CID, we have ordered an inquiry into it,” Mr. Gupta said.

He said that IG Prison Yogesh Shukla has been asked to probe the allegations and submit his report to him .

A month after he allegedly raped the teenager, 48-year-old Dwivedi was arrested in Banda last week.

Dwivedi, who represents Naraini in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly, was on the run after orders for his arrest were issued in connection with the criminal assault.

The girl was allegedly raped on December 10-11 at the legislator's residence. She escaped from the MLA's house on December 12 when the MLA allegedly attempted rape for the third time and was arrested same day on theft charges. - PTI

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