A three-year-old girl, who was found dead in a sugarcane field in Uttar Pradesh’s Lakhimpur Kheri, was raped before murder, a senior police officer said on Friday (September 4).
This is the third such incident in the district in three weeks.
The accused was nabbed in an encounter on Friday, according to police. Four teams were formed to capture the accused, after the girl’s father, in his complaint to the police, alleged that Lekhram, a resident of their village, had abducted and killed the child due to an old enmity with his family.
A case of murder was lodged against the accused.
The girl’s body, which bore injury marks on the head, was recovered from the vicinity of her village in Singahi area on Thursday (September 3) after she went missing on Wednesday (September 2), police said.
“The postmortem report has confirmed rape. I am with family members right now. Seven of our teams are working on the case. I am myself going for combing in sugarcane fields and strict action will be taken against the accused,” Superintendent of Police, Satyendra Kumar Singh said.
“If needed, the NSA will also be invoked against the accused,” he added.
Lakhimpur Kheri district was in the news recently when a 17-year-old Dalit girl was found dead outside her village. She was allegedly raped and murdered after she left home to fill a scholarship application. Her mutilated body was found near a dry pond, around 200 metres ways from her village falling under the Neemgaon police limits.
Prior to this incident, a 13-year-old girl was raped and killed in the district. Police said the girl had gone to the fields in the afternoon and when she did not return home, her family started looking for her. She was found dead in a sugarcane field.
These incidents drew flak from the opposition, with Congress and SP leaders attacking the Yogi Adityanath-led state government over the law and order situation, which is steadily worsening.
Multiple reports of rape and murder have come in over the last few weeks from Uttar Pradesh.
Taking to Twitter, state Congress Chief Ajay Kumar Lalu said, “Even after so many incidents, our ‘tough’ Chief Minister has not fixed responsibility. A dying system and a helpless Chief Minister.”
Following the spike in crimes against women, particularly minors, the UP government set up a Women and Child Safety Organization recently, headed by a senior police officer to handle such cases and ensure the safety of women and children.
(With inputs from agencies)