‘Spurned’ 28-year-old lover held for Unnao deaths; no rape or assault: police

The man, who hailed from a village near that of the three cousins, was angered after the eldest girl spurned his love, the police said   

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

The Uttar Pradesh police arrested a 28-year-old man and detained a 15-year-old boy on Friday (February 19) for the deaths of two minor girls by alleged poisoning in Unnao district. A third girl is in hospital undergoing treatment.  

According to the police, the girls — cousins aged 17, 16 and 13 years — suffered poisoning after they drank water mixed with insecticide offered by the accused.

Vinay, who belonged to a village next to Babuhara from where the girls hailed, had carried the water in a bottle with the intention of giving it to the eldest girl. He was in love with her but wanted to harm her as she had spurned him, the police said. The other two girls, who were with the 17-year-old girl at the time of the incident, also drank the water before Vinay could stop them, the police said. The two later died of poisoning.  Their bodies were found on Wednesday evening.

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

The police dismissed allegations that the girls were assaulted or raped.    

Vinay alias Lambu and his minor friend have been taken into custody for the poisoning incident, Laxmi Singh, Inspector General (IG), Lucknow Range, said. Vinay, who belongs to a scheduled caste like the girls, has confessed to the crime, she said.

According to the police, Vinay has a farm next to the one owned by the families of the girls. He got to know them during the lockdown when he visited his farm often, Laxmi Singh said. He fell in love with the 17-year-old girl and asked for her mobile number. She, however, refused to share it him despite many requests. This angered him, the police said.

On Wednesday, the girls met Vinay near the fields. Vinay asked his minor friend to buy him some snacks. The girls had also bought some with them. After they had the snacks, Vinay offered the 17-year-old girl the bottle of water mixed with the insecticide to drink. She had a few sips. The other two girls also drank the same water. Vinay told the police that he tried to stop the younger girls from drinking it, but couldn’t. 

The three girls fell unconscious after drinking the water, while Vinay, along with his minor friend, ran away. The families of the girls took the bodies from the fields after which villagers alerted the police.

Also read: Autopsy non-conclusive in Unnao girls’ deaths; cops say ‘breakthrough soon’

The police said that during investigation they found some empty snacks packets and a bottle of water at the site of the incident. Mobile data indicated that Vinay was in the area when the girls died. 

The 17-year-old undergoing treatment at a hospital is stable but critical, the police said.

The government said on Friday that it will initiate action against those who alleged that the girls were raped. “The government has ordered an inquiry and those who made unverified claims about the girls being raped will face action,” a government spokesperson said, reported The Indian Express.

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