Six men were arrested on Thursday after the bodies of two Dalit teenage sisters, hanging from a tree in Uttar Pradesh’s Lakhimpur Kheri district, drew public outrage. The family alleged that they were raped and then murdered by three young men from the neighbouring village.
The two sisters, aged 15 and 17 years, were found hanging from a tree on Wednesday. Their mother said that she suspected the three accused had abducted the sisters while they were cutting fodder. The police arrested six men for the rape and murder of the minor girls.
The district administration deployed police personnel at the house of the deceased to maintain law and order. Visitors called on the grieving family, and the girls’ mother appealed to them. The mother said, “hang the accused the same way they hanged my daughters”.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath ordered the trial of the case in a fast-track court and the police forensic team gathered evidence and recorded statements of the accused.
Dalit Sisters Killed In Lakhimpur Kheri: 10 Things To Know About The Case
- Those arrested for the horrific incident have been identified as Chotu, Junaid, Sohail, Hafizul, Karimuddin and Arif, said Lakhimpur Superintendent of Police Sanjeev Suman at a press briefing. Junaid was taken into custody after a gunfight in which he was shot in the leg, he added.
- The police filed a first information report under Sections 302 (murder), 376 (rape), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 452 (house trespass after preparation for assault) of the Indian Penal Code, as well as under provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, as per reports.
- Police said the accused were friends with the deceased girls. They further added that the girls were not kidnapped but went willingly with the men on their bikes
- Suman said that Chotu had introduced other accused men to the girls. Sohail and Junaid then lured girls to a farm and raped them, ANI reported.
- “After the girls forced the accused to marry them, Sohail, Hafizul and Junaid strangulated and killed them,” he said. “They then called Karimuddin and Arif and hanged girls to eliminate proof.”
- The sisters were found hanging from a tree in a sugarcane field about a kilometre away from their house in Nighasan police station limits.
- Meanwhile, villagers held a demonstration at Nighasan Cross to protest the killings. Suman and Assistant Superintendent of Police Arun Kumar Singh talked to the irate villagers in a bid to console them, while a heavy police force was deployed in the village to ensure law and order.
- Calling it a preliminary probe, police said a panel of three doctors will conduct the postmortem later in the day. Inspector General, Lucknow Range Laxmi Singh said that no injuries were found on the bodies of the girls. “Other things to be ascertained after post-mortem,” she said. “We’ll try to expedite the probe.”
- Meanwhile, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav and Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra have criticised the Uttar Pradesh government over “increasing” crimes against women in the state and compared the twin deaths with the Hathras gang-rape and murder. Mayawati wrote that the “heartbreaking incident” from Lakhimpur was linked to the fact that “criminals in UP are fearless because the priorities of the government are wrong.”