In yet another horrific incident weeks after a 19-year-old Dalit girl was allegedly gang-raped and murdered in Hathras, another Dalit girl was allegedly raped and strangulated in a village in Barabanki district on Wednesday, October 14.
The girl's family found her body in a paddy field with clothes torn and limbs tied.
Initially, a case of murder against an unidentified person was filed by the police. However, after the post-mortem report revealed that she was sexually assaulted, the charge of rape under IPC section 376 was added to the FIR.
"On Wednesday, the FIR was registered under section 302 of the IPC. On Thursday, we have added section 376 (rape) of the IPC based on the postmortem report. We are questioning a few suspects after primary investigation," said Additional SP (Barabanki) Ram Sewak Gautam told The Indian Express.
Confusion over the girl's age has led to the police not yet adding the charges under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
"Around 5.30 pm, she had not returned home. I got worried and started looking for her. Around half an hour later, I went to the field and saw her slippers. A little ahead, I found her lifeless body," the girl's father said.
The eldest of four siblings, the victim has a younger sister of about 15 years of age and twin brothers around seven.
"We received the information of a body found in a paddy field in the village under mysterious circumstances. We are collecting all the evidence and a team has been formed under Additional SP-rank officer. We will soon be able to crack the case," said Additional SP Gautam who is currently holding the charge of SP in the district.
IG (Ayodhya Range) Sanjeev Gupta said that whether the girl was a major or minor would have no bearing on the investigation.
Although the family initially refused to cremate the body, they later did it on Thursday evening, October 15, after assurance from the police.