Two men were arrested after a minor Dalit girl was raped and murdered in Lakhimpur Kheri District, Uttar Pradesh. The 13-year-old girl's body was found in a sugarcane field that belonged to one of the accused, police said on Saturday.
The girl's father said that her eyes were gouged out, her tongue was cut and she was strangled, according to a report by NDTV. The horrific incident happened on Friday, under the Isanagar police station limits, police said.
The victim had gone missing on Friday afternoon, and the father said that they had started looking for her when she did not return till late evening. Eventually, he said, she was found in a sugarcane field with her eyes gouged out. He added that her tongue was cut and she was strangled with a dupatta.
They noticed some dragging marks near a sugarcane field and found her body, the police said. The girl's father has denied enmity with anyone in the village, they added.
Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Dhaurahra, Abhishek Pratap along with Isanagar police officials rushed to the spot and carried out preliminary investigations which led to the arrest of two men on Friday night, they added.
"On the complaint by the deceased's father, two youths identified as Sanjay and Santosh have been arrested," DSP Pratap told PTI. An FIR has been registered under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code besides the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act and the SC/ST Act, he said. A few media reports also said that the National Security Act would be slapped against the accused.
Pratap denied reports about injuries to the girl's eyes and tongue. The post-mortem conducted by a panel of doctors showed no such thing, he said. "The post-mortem report stated the cause of the girl's death was strangulation after rape," he said.
Satyendra Kumar, SP, Lakhimpur Kher also said that the claims about the eyes being gouged out and tongue being purposely slit were false. He said there was some blood near the victims' eye at the time the body was discovered, but that it could have happened due to a cut from the sharp leaves in the sugarcane field. He added that in cases of strangulation, the victim's tongue is often caught between the teeth. Kher said the post mortem report of the girl confirmed that she had been raped.
Mayawati condemned the incident on Twitter, saying - "After the rape of a Dalit minor in Pakariya village of Lakhimpur Kheri, UP, her brutal killing, is extremely sad and shameful. What was the difference between such incidents in the SP and the present BJP government? The government should take strict action against the culprits of Kheri along with Azamgarh, BSP demands."
यूपी के लखीमपुर खीरी के पकरिया गाँव में दलित नाबालिग के साथ बलात्कार के बाद फिर उसकी नृशंस हत्या अति-दुःखद व शर्मनाक। ऐसी घटनाओं से सपा व वर्तमान भाजपा सरकार में फिर क्या अन्तर रहा? सरकार आजमगढ़ के साथ खीरी के दोषियों के विरूद्ध भी सख्त कार्रवाई करे, बीएसपी की यह माँग है।— Mayawati (@Mayawati) August 15, 2020
BJP सरकार में दलित उत्पीड़न चरम पर है। लखीमपुर खीरी के पकरिया गाँव में दलित नाबालिग के साथ दरिंगगी के बाद उसकी बेरहमी से हत्या कर दी गई। अगर यह जंगल राज नही है तो फिर जंगल राज किसे कहते हैं? हमारी बेटियां सुरक्षित नही, हमारे घर सुरक्षित नही, हर तरफ भय का माहौल है। योगी इस्तीफा दो— Chandra Shekhar Aazad (@BhimArmyChief) August 15, 2020
Azad Samaj Party leader Chandrashekhar Azaad also spoke against the incident, saying that Dalit oppression was at the peak during the term of the BJP government and demanded the resignation of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. "A Dalit minor was brutally murdered after rape in Pakariya village of Lakhimpur Kheri. If this is not Jungle Raj, then what is? Our daughters are not safe, our homes are not safe, there is an atmosphere of fear everywhere. Yogi resign."
Akhilesh Yadav also expressed his outrage over the incident. "The ruthless killing after the rape of a teenager in Lakhimpur Kheri, UP, is shocking to humanity. During the BJP's term, harassment of girls and women of Uttar Pradesh is at its peak. Why is the BJP government becoming complict in rape, kidnapping, crime and killings?," he said, while adding "no more BJP".