UP Dalit sisters' rape-murder: Six arrested; panel of three doctors to conduct autopsy, say police

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New Delhi: Uttar Pradesh Police on Thursday said that they have arrested six accused for the rape and murder of two Dalit sisters who were found hanging from a tree in Uttar Pradesh’s Lakhimpur.

Police said that one of the accused was nabbed in an encounter after he was shot in his leg.

“We have arrested six accused involved in crime in different ways. The accused have been identified as Chotu, Junaid, Sohail, Hafizul, Karimuddin and Arif. Junaid was nabbed in an encounter after he was shot in his leg,” said SP Lakhimpur Kheri Sanjeev Suman at a press conference.

Police said the accused were friends with the deceased girls.

“The girls were lured to farms and raped by Sohail and Junaid yesterday. After the girls forced the accused to marry them, Sohail, Hafizul and Junaid strangulated them to death. They then called Karimuddin and Arif and hanged the girls to eliminate proof,” said the SP.

All the accused other than Chotu hail from Lalpur village in Lakhimpur Kheri.

Chotu, who was a neighbour of the girls, had introduced the them to the boys, said police.

Calling it a preliminary probe, police said a panel of three doctors will conduct the post-mortem later in the day.

“This is a preliminary probe. The post-mortem is about to start in 2-3 hours. A panel of three doctors will conduct the post-mortem… Case is against women and against a weaker section of society. We worked with speed and sensitivity. Accused have been booked under Sections 302, 376 of the IPC and POCSO Act,” added the SP.

On Wednesday, the two Dalit teenage sisters were found hanging from a tree in a sugarcane field about a kilometre away from their house in Nighasan police station limits.

The mother of the two girls alleged that they were murdered and accused three youths from the neighbouring village in Nighasan police station limits of abducting and killing them.

Meanwhile, villagers held a demonstration at Nighasan Cross to protest the killings.

Superintendent of Police Sanjiv Suman and Assistant Superintendent of Police Arun Kumar Singh talked to the irate villagers in a bid to console them, while a heavy police forced was deployed in the village to ensure law and order.

As soon as the news broke, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav and Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra attacked the Uttar Pradesh government over “increasing” crimes against women in the state and compared the twin deaths with the Hathras gang-rape and murder.

Comparing Wednesday’s case to the Hathras incident, SP president Akhilesh Yadav said in a tweet, “Murder of two Dalit sisters after kidnapping them in Nighasan police station area. Their father’s allegation on the police is very serious that they carried out ‘panchnama’ and post-mortem without the family’s consent. After farmers in Lakhimpur, the killing of Dalits is now a repetition of the murder of ‘Hathras’ daughter’.”

Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also took to Twitter to condemn the incident.

“The killings of the two sisters in Lakhimpur is heartbreaking. Family says the girls were abducted in broad daylight. Law and order in the state doesn’t improve by giving false advertisements in newspapers and TV everyday. After all, why are heinous crimes against women increasing in Uttar Pradesh? When will the government wake up?”

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With inputs from agencies

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UP Dalit sisters' rape-murder: Six arrested; panel of three doctors to conduct autopsy, say police
UP Dalit sisters' rape-murder: Six arrested; panel of three doctors to conduct autopsy, say police
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