The Uttar Pradesh Police is mulling over slapping the stringent National Security Act against the six people arrested for the rape and murder of two Dalit sisters in the state’s Lakhimpur Kheri.
The sisters, aged 15 and 17, were found hanging from a tree in a sugarcane field on Wednesday evening.
The National Security Act (NSA) allows the detention of people up to one year without any charge.
“We are mulling to impose the NSA on the six accused persons. Apart from this, DNA samples of the six accused persons and the two girls will also be sent for an examination,” Superintendent of Police Sanjiv Suman told PTI on Friday.
Suman said none of the accused is minor, dismissing reports of the kin of some of them making the claiming. Meanwhile, Assistant District Government Counsel Brijesh Pandey said the accused were produced before a POCSO court, which sent them to a 14-day judicial custody.
District Magistrate Mahendra Bahadur Singh on Friday told reporters that the monetary relief of Rs 8.25 lakh each has been released in favour of the girls’ family.
The remaining compensation amount will be released soon, he said.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had on Thursday evening directed that Rs 25 lakh financial assistance, a pucca house and agriculture land be given to the kin of the dead. In a tweet in Hindi, the office of the UP Chief Minister said the matter will be effectively pursued in a fast-track court and the culprits will be punished within a month. Nighasan’s BJP legislator Shashank Verma along with BJP’s district president Sunil Singh visited the grief-stricken family, telling them that the government would provide all aid and assistance to them.
The village on Friday looked calm and quiet, though the authorities have deployed adequate number of policemen to maintain peace there.
An 11-member delegation of the Congress led by its MLAs Aradhna Mishra Mona, Virendra Chaudhary, former MP Zafar Ali Naqvi, former MLA Satish Ajmani and others also visited the family to express their solidarity with them. The six men were arrested on Thursday.
Police sources said the post-mortem report revealed that the girls were raped and then strangled. The bodies were found hanging about a kilometre away from their home on Wednesday.
Police had said according to the preliminary probe, the girls had left their home on Wednesday afternoon with two of the accused, Junaid and Sohail.The girl’s mother had earlier alleged that they were abducted.
The tragic incident has stirred politics in the state, which is readying for a five-day monsoon session of the legislative assembly from Monday.
Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav, BSP supremo Mayawati and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi have attacked the BJP government in the state over the incident.
BJP leaders have hit back at the rivals for trying to “derive political mileage” out of the human tragedy.
BJP, RSS giving communal colour to Lakhimpur Kheri rape: Congress
The Congress Friday accused the BJP and RSS of giving communal colour to the alleged rape and murder of two Dalit sisters in Uttar Pradesh’s Lakhimpur Kheri and demanded that justice delivery in the case be fast-tracked.
The Opposition party also demanded the Narendra Modi government should implement the SC/ST Act with “full force”.
Addressing a press conference at the Congress headquarters here, the party’s Scheduled Caste department head Rajesh Lilothia said the alleged rape and murder of the two sisters should not be seen as an isolated incident and alleged that atrocities against Dalits have been rising. The National Crime Records Bureau data revealed that 70,818 cases of atrocities against Dalits are pending investigation till 2021, he said. “On one hand, big claims are made that the Modi government is working for the welfare of Dalits on the other hand there are these statistics,” Lilothia said.
He also accused the RSS and BJP of giving communal colour to the Lakhimpur Kheri incident.
“The Congress demands justice from the UP government for the family of the victims. It also demands that the Modi government should implement the SC/ST Act with full force,” Lilothia said.
The Congress leader also accused the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh of not providing justice in the 2020 Hathras rape case.
According to Lakhimpur Kheri Superintendent of Police (SP) Sanjiv Suman, the preliminary probe has revealed that the girls had left their home on Wednesday afternoon with two of the accused, Junaid and Sohail.
All the six accused have been sent to judicial custody for 14 days, the SP said.
The girl’s mother had earlier alleged that they were abducted.
“Junaid and Sohail have confessed to strangling the girls after raping them,” the police officer said.
He said both were in a relationship with the two sisters, who insisted on marriage, after which they were strangled. The others arrested were identified as Hafizur Rehman, Karimuddin, Arif and Chottu.