In a late-night crackdown, the Uttar Pradesh Police arrested a priest, who is the main accused in the alleged gangrape of an anganwadi worker here.
District Magistrate Kumar Prashant said on Thursday midnight that mahant (priest) Satya Narayan was hiding in the house of his follower in a village under Ughaiti police station from where he was picked up.
The priest was quizzed throughout the night for his alleged role in the gangrape.
Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Sankalp Sharma said further action will be taken in accordance with the information provided by the priest.
Some more people are on police radar and they are also being questioned, the SSP said, adding that all the angles are being looked into and the case will be solved soon. The priest will be taken for a medical examination and produced before a local court for seeking remand later in the day, the police said.
On Sunday, the 50-year-old woman who had gone to a temple was found dead under mysterious circumstances. Her family members have accused the temple priest and his aides of raping and murdering her. A case was registered against the accused and two of them were arrested on Tuesday night, while the priest had been at large.
The FIR was registered on Tuesday after an autopsy confirmed rape and the two accomplices of the priest were nabbed. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has ordered “strongest possible action” in the case even as opposition parties have launched an attack on his government, terming the incident “horrific” and “shameful”, with the Congress comparing it to the Nirbhaya case.
Following the incident, Bareilly ADG Avinash Chandra had visited the crime spot and announced a reward of Rs 50,000 on the priests arrest. “Based on complaints from the family members and the post-mortem report, a case has been registered under sections 376D (gang-rape) and 302 (punishment for murder) of the IPC,” he had said.
Also, the SSP said the sub-inspector in-charge of the area, Amarjit Singh, was suspended on Friday. The station house officer (SHO) of the Ughaiti police station, Raghvendra Pratap, was suspended earlier for a “delay in informing higher authorities, laxity in taking action, dereliction of duty and failure in taking speedy action” and a case under IPC section 166A (public servant disobeying law) has been registered against the two officers. They had informed senior officials about the incident after a delay of 17 hours, the SSP said.