The dead bodies of two teenage girls were found in Uttar Pradesh’s Lakhimpur Kheri on Wednesday. While the preliminary probe hinted at foul play, the autopsy reports confirmed that both girls, belonging to the Dalit community, were raped and strangulated to death.
TIMELINE OF EVENTS
The mother of both sisters, who fell prey to alleged criminal minds, said that they were abducted around 2 pm. At 5.30 pm, the local residents said that their bodies were found hanging from a tree. Their bodies were found hanging from a tree in a sugarcane field about a kilometre from their house in the Nighasan police station area on Wednesday.
As per a source, the police were quick to reach the crime spot and upon receiving the complaint at 5:40 pm, a team arrived at 5:55 pm. The crime scene comes under the jurisdiction of Nighasan Police Station.
On the basis of the complaint of the victim’s mother, all the accused have been booked under IPC sections 302, 323, 452, 376 and the Pocso act, the SP said. The police will also add penalties under the SC/ST Act in this case.
As per the FIR, the main accused, along with others, barged into the victims’ house and forcibly took them on a motorbike.
The accused also thrashed their mother, raped the two sisters and hung their bodies on a tree, the FIR said.
UTTAR PRADESH POLICE ARREST 6 ACCUSED
UP Police arrested six people in connection with the rape and murder of sisters, aged 15 and 17 years. “The post-mortem has been completed, the body has been handed over to the family for last rites,” UP ADG (L&O) Prashant Kumar said.
The accused have been identified as Chotu, Junaid, Suhail, Kareemuddin, Arif and Hafeez-ur-Rehman. Junaid was arrested after an encounter with the police in which he was shot in the leg, Uttar Pradesh Police said.
Having arrested the accused within 24 hours of the crime, the Uttar Pradesh Police said that justice would be rendered. On Thursday evening, the five accused were produced before a magistrate, except Junaid who was admitted to a hospital because of injuries he sustained during the encounter. He will be produced before the Additional District Judge later.
Six people arrested in connection with the rape and murder of two minor girls in UP’s #LakhimpurKheri district. @iSamarthS and @aap_ka_santosh get us all the details #ITVideo (@PoojaShali) pic.twitter.com/wCWi2ygFDp
— IndiaToday (@IndiaToday) September 15, 2022
#WATCH | Lakhimpur Kheri incident: We received info that bodies of 2 sisters were found hanging on Sept 14… All accused arrested within 24 hrs; one of the accused got injured during police proceedings. Post mortem done, bodies handed over to family: UP ADG (L&O) Prashant Kumar https://t.co/QoNlxHFwYq pic.twitter.com/WYimNYqo0H
— ANI UP/Uttarakhand (@ANINewsUP) September 15, 2022
VICTIM’S FAMILY TABLES DEMAND
Following the murder and rape of both her daughters, the father said, “I demand justice.” Further, establishing that the girls’ family sought death sentences for the accused, they refused to perform the last rites of their deceased teenage daughters.
— ANI UP/Uttarakhand (@ANINewsUP) September 15, 2022
Subsequently, after the authorities intervened, the family of the girls agreed to cremate the dead bodies of their girls but tabled three demands. They demanded Rs 1 crore compensation, a government job for the brother of both teenage girls and the death penalty for the accused.
FAMILIES OF 6 ACCUSED DEFEND SONS
Speaking to India Today, the family members of the accused denied all allegations and stated that their sons were innocent.
“Had my sons committed any mistake, they would have run away but all of them were at home,” the family said.
Uttar Pradesh Police arrested six people in connection with the crime. The government will take action so that the souls of their coming generations will also shiver, Uttar Pradesh deputy chief minister Brajesh Pathak said on Thursday. As per the police, none of the accused is a minor.
The family members of the four accused claimed that all their sons ‘together’ left the house to purchase rations. They mentioned that their sons had stepped out between 1 and 4 pm.
Sources said that Junaid’s father, Israel, was nabbed by the police when he told the authorities about his son’s whereabouts. Junaid was arrested in Pilibhit. As per the father, Junaid is innocent and he also had stepped out with his friends to get groceries.
AUTHORITIES ‘ ACTION PLAN
Vouching for swift and stringent action against the culprits, the Uttar Pradesh police said that they would not be spared. Hinting at an intention to stir a deterrent effect in the state, UP deputy chief minister Brajesh Pathak said that the government would take such actions that the souls of their coming generations would shiver.
Speaking exclusively to India Today TV, UP Deputy CM said, “A high-level investigation has been ordered into the matter and the guilty won’t be spared. The government is standing with the family of the victim and the situation is being monitored by me.”
“A member of the UP State Commission for Protection of Child Rights and two representatives of the NCPCR (National Commission for Protection of Child Rights) will visit victims’ families on September 19. Will ensure the hearing takes place in a fast-track court and the death penalty is given,” NCPCR head Priyank Kanoongo said.
The State Women’s Commission took cognizance of the rape and murder case of two sisters while the Lakhimpur district magistrate sought a report.
OPPOSITION SLAMS BJP-LED GOVT
Soon after the dead bodies of both sisters were recovered, Priyanka Gandhi slammed the BJP-led state government. In a blatant attack, she said, “The incident of murder of two sisters in Lakhimpur (UP) is heart-wrenching. The relatives say that those girls were abducted in broad daylight. Giving false advertisements in newspapers and TV every day does not improve law and order. After all, why are heinous crimes against women increasing in UP?”
“When will the government wake up?” she said.
— Priyanka Gandhi Vadra (@priyankagandhi) September 14, 2022
BSP national president Mayawati said that the ‘priorities of the government’ were flawed and that criminals roamed about freely in Uttar Pradesh.
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— Mayawati (@Mayawati) September 15, 2022
At the behest of Mayawati, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader Bhimrao Ambedkar reached Lakhimpur to meet the family.
Rahul Gandhi hit out at the BJP-led government and connected the development to the release of the convicts in the Bilkis Bano gangrape case.
“Women’s safety cannot be expected from those who get the rapists released and respect them,” Gandhi said.
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) September 15, 2022
Meanwhile, BJP’s Amit Malviya questioned the silence of ‘assorted activists’ over the arrest of ‘Junaid, Arif, Hafiz among others’.
“It would be interesting to see the silence of opposition leaders and assorted activists, who were shedding copious tears till last night, on the rape and murder of two Dalit sisters in Lakhimpur Kheri, after it emerged that Junaid, Arif, Hafiz among others, perpetrated the crime,” BJP’s IT cell’s in-charge said.
CM YOGI ANNOUNCES COMPENSATION
UP CM Yogi announced financial assistance of Rs 25 lakh to the victims’ family. He also instructed authorities to develop a pucca house for the deceased girls’ family and lease their agricultural land out.
“After effectively lobbying this murder case in the fast track court, the guilty should be punished for their act within a month,” CM Yogi said.
— ENDS —