2 Dalit girls found dead in Unnao field suspected to have been poisoned

"The cause of death not ascertained. Viscera has been preserved for chemical analysis," said the DGP

Unnao
Policemen at the site where two minor Dalit girls were found dead in Unnao | File Photo: PTI

The two Dalit girls, found dead in a field in Uttar Pradesh’s Unnao, are suspected to have died due to poisoning. A panel of three doctors on Thursday performed the autopsy of the deceased and a third one is in a critical state and is being treated for suspected poisoning.

Meanwhile, the UP police have finally registered a murder case after family members of the deceased girls filed a complaint on Wednesday.

DGP HC Awasthi said the autopsy of the girls has revealed no external injury. “The cause of death not ascertained. Viscera has been preserved for chemical analysis,” he said. Viscera tests help ascertain the cause of death in cases where autopsies are inconclusive, mostly in suspected cases of poisoning.

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Awasthi said that the third victim is being treated at Kanpur where she is critical but stable. “Her condition declared as suspected case of poisoning.” She is currently on ventilator at the Regency Hospital in Kanpur, reports suggest.

Meanwhile, police say they’re conducting combing operation to recover evidence at the site where the three girls were found. Unnao SP Anand Kulkarni said there was a contradiction in the statements of the mother and brother of the girls and investigations were on.

The three girls, aged 15, 14 and 16, were found tied in a field in Babuhara village in Asoha, around 36 km south of Lucknow, on Wednesday evening by the villagers when they did not return after they left their house to take fodder for cattle, police had said. Police said froth was coming out of their mouths, which points to poisoning. The villagers informed the cops and rushed the girls to the hospital, where two of them were declared brought dead, while the other was rushed to Unnao hospital and later referred to Kanpur hospital, they said.

Related news | Two Dalit girls found dead in field in Unnao, one serious

“Our investigation has found that bodies had no marks on them either in the hands or legs, suggesting that they were not tied,” the SP said. He said action would be taken as per the post-mortem report, which was conducted by a panel of three doctors and videographed.

He added that the family members who were the first ones to reach the spot were being questioned. According to Kulkarni, the girl’s brother had said the girls were tied with a “dupatta” (stole), while her mother said on Thursday that it was around her neck.

On speculation that it was a case of honour killing, the SP said that all aspects would be included in the probe and it would not be right to say anything on it at the moment.

Opposition reacts

The Opposition demanded a high-level inquiry into the incident, while Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath took a serious note and sought a detailed report from the DGP. Adityanath has directed officials to ensure proper treatment of the teenager admitted in Kanpur hospital on government expenses, according to a spokesperson.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi alleged that the Uttar Pradesh government was not only suppressing the Dalit society, but also crushing the honour and human rights of women in the state.

“The UP government is not only crushing Dalit society, but also the honour and human rights of women. But they should remember that I and the entire Congress party will stand as the voice of victims and will endeavour to get them justice,” Gandhi said in a tweet.

BSP chief Mayawati expressed condolences to the affected family, describing the incident as “very serious and sad.” “The BSP demands a high level inquiry into the incident and strict punishment for the culprits,” Mayawati tweeted.

Samajwadi Party MLC Sunil Singh Sajan has alleged Unnao police was trying to hush up the case. He has sought a probe by an independent agency in the matter.

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