The body of a 13-year-old girl, allegedly raped and killed in Uttar Pradesh’s Lakhimpur Kheri district, was found in a sugarcane field.
The police arrested two men from the village in this connection. NDTV, quoting the girl’s father, said the girl had been strangled, her eyes gouged out, and tongue cut.
The police said the incident was on Friday, around 130 km from Lucknow, in a village close to the Nepal border. They, however, have denied reports that said the girl was brutalised.
The girl went missing on Friday afternoon and her relatives started looking for her. The victim’s father said they found her in the sugarcane field, owned by one of the accused. “Her eyes had been gouged out. Her tongue was cut and strangled with a dupatta,” the girl’s father claimed.
Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Dhaurahra, Abhishek Pratap said the post-mortem examination confirmed rape. “On the complaint by the deceased’s father, two youths identified as Sanjay and Santosh have been arrested,” DSP Pratap said.
“Earlier, there were reports about injuries to the girl’s eyes and tongue. However, the post-mortem conducted by a panel of doctors showed no such thing,” he said. “The report stated the cause of the girl’s death was strangulation after rape,” he said.
Former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati condemned the incident and termed it ‘extremely shameful.’ “What is the difference between the governments of the Samajwadi Party and the present BJP if such incidents keep happening?” she said.
As per the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data of 2018, UP’s crime against women was 55.7 per lakh population, below the national average of 58.8. The crime against children was 22.5 per lakh which is reportedly less than the national average of 31.8. The NCRB data also said the state of UP had 17% of the country’s population but the crime rate was less than 10%. The Yogi Adityanath government had been using this data to counter opposition charges that the law and order situation of UP is among the worst in the country.
In actual terms, in 2018, there were 4322 cares of rape in UP. There were 12 rapes every day. As many as 144 minors were raped in 2018 as against 129 in 2017.
The NCRB report also said Lucknow topped in crimes against women among 19 cities with 2,736 cases being reported.
Sources said the lower crime rate could be due to factors like lower reporting of crime and the general reluctance of the people to approach the police out of fear. The opposition had been stating that the low crime rate is far different from the actual situation on the ground ‘where women and children’ remained most unsafe.
UP Director-General of Police O.P. Singh said the crime rate should be viewed in terms of the very high population of the state. He said the beat police system was being revived to establish a rapport with the police.