Twelve suspects have been detained in connection with the death of a minor Dalit girl in the Akrabad area of Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh on February 28th night. According to reports, police discovered signs of sexual assault on the semi-naked body of the girl. The girl’s skin had peeled away from being dragged through the fields and there were deep and numerous nail marks on her body said police sources.
The girl, who was living with her grandmother, used to accompany the latter to the fields. A complaint filed on Sunday says that the girl left around 11 am to collect fodder for the goats at home. Her family started looking for her when she did not return by sunset. Later, a local spotted her body in a wheat field. Her clothes were scattered all around and it appeared that she had been sexually assaulted.
The police on Monday said that preliminary investigation revealed that the girl was strangled to death. However, her family has alleged that the girl was a victim of sexual violence, apart from murder. The police said that sexual violence could only be confirmed after a post-mortem. The death of the girl enraged the villagers who pelted stones at the police party that had come to take the girl’s body for post-mortem.
The vaginal and rectal swabs of the girl have been sent for forensic examination and the report is awaited. “The proceedings of the post-mortem were video-graphed. There were multiple injury marks on the body of the victim who died due to strangulation,” said Aligarh’s senior superintendent of police G Muniraj. The police have registered an FIR under IPC sections 376 (rape), 302 (murder) and under relevant sections of the POCSO Act.
Muniraj told reporters, “The post-mortem report revealed the cause of death to be strangulation and smothering. External injury marks were found on the victim’s body. Her skin had peeled away. There were nail marks on her body. However, a preliminary examination by a team of doctors who conducted the post-mortem did not find any internal injury. A forensic report will clear the picture.”
This incident has brought up horrific memories of the young Hathras girl whose similar violation in September last year made national headlines. The 19-year-old Dalit girl was waylaid while she had gone to collect fodder for animals. She was found unconscious in the field with serious internal injuries. She died a fortnight later in a Delhi hospital.
In August 2020, a minor was allegedly raped and singed with cigarette butts by two men in Gorakhpur. According to media reports, the girl, daughter of a brick kiln labourer, went to fetch water from a hand pump when the two accused forcibly took her to a hut on a motorcycle and allegedly raped her. They also tortured her by inflicting burn injuries on her with cigarette butts and fled when she fell unconscious.
Another spine-chilling gang rape and murder case of a 13-year-old was reported from UP’s Lakhimpur Kheri district in August 2020. The minor’s body was found in a sugarcane field, reportedly owned by one of the accused, with her father claiming that she was strangled, her eyes gouged out and tongue cut.
Yesterday, March 2, 2021, the murder of a man whose daughter was allegedly sexually harassed by the accused in Hathras district of Uttar Pradesh has once again highlighted the mounting number of crimes against women in the state of Uttar Pradesh.