Angry family members and villagers on Thursday refused prevented officials from burying two minor Dalit girls found dead in a field in Uttar Pradesh's Unnao district and demanded a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe, as the police said that the preliminary autopsy had no mention of sexual assault, reported Hindustan Times.
Three minor Dalit girls were found unconscious in a field in Unnao late on Wednesday. Two of them were declared dead on arrival as soon as they were taken to a hospital, while the third is in a critical condition in a Kanpur hospital.
Soon after the incident, the UP Police registered a case of murder and hiding of evidence against unknown people and picked up six people for interrogation. Two of them were male cousins of the victims, and others were men from a neighbouring village.
"The doctors found no external or internal injuries on the girls' bodies. There is no mention of sexual assault in the medical examination reports," UP director general of police Hitesh Chandra Awasthi said.
The families of the girls, however, said that they were not satisfied with the investigation carried out by the UP police.
"We want a CBI inquiry because our girls were murdered and we are being harassed. We have no enmity with anyone in the area and police should release our two relatives," the mother of one of the victims said.
"We are sure the girls were murdered; it is common in this area," the mother of another girl said.
Hundreds of villagers said that they won't permit the burial of victims and clashed with the authorities for digging graves with JCB machines. Family members threw themselves before the machine and said they would not allow the burial as it was against local customs.
Victims' families also protested at the police's decision to question relatives.
A cop said one cousin was interrogated because he was among the first people to find the body.
Another cop also said there was an alleged contradiction in the statements of the victims' family. The brother being questioned said the girls' hands were tied with a dupatta while the mother of another girl said that the dupatta was tied around their necks.
The autopsy report, however, found no injury marks on the neck, hand or legs.
The incident also took a political colour with the opposition attacking the Yogi Adityanath-led government in the state.
"UP government is not only crushing Dalit society but also the honour and human rights of women," former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi tweeted.
Bhim Army chief Chandrasekhar Azad demanded that the surviving girl should be airlifted to AIIMS for better treatment.