The police of Uttar Pradesh have arrested two men for allegedly raping and killing a 13-year-old girl in Lakhimpur Kheri district, NDTV reported on Saturday. The body of the girl, who was strangled with her tongue allegedly cut, was found in a sugarcane field owned by one of the accused.
The alleged assault took place on Friday in a village close to the Nepal border, the police said. The girl had gone missing earlier in the afternoon. “We went looking for her everywhere and found her in the sugarcane field,” the girl’s father told the news channel. “Her eyes had been gouged out. Her tongue was cut and strangled with a dupatta.”
The police said the postmortem report confirmed the girl was sexually assaulted but denied that the family’s claim that her tongue was cut and her eyes were gouged out. “There is nothing in the post-mortem report to suggest this,” Kheri Superintendent of Police Satendra Kumar said. “There were scratches near the eyes, likely due to the sharp sugarcane leaves where the body was found.”
Kumar added that the two accused, identified as Santosh Yadav and Sanjay Gautam, have been booked under under Section 302 and Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code, pertaining to gang rape and murder, according to Hindustan Times. He said strict action will also be taken against them under the National Security Act.
Bhim Army President Chandrashekhar Azad said that Dalit oppression is at its peak under the Bharatiya Janata Party government. “If this is not the Jungle Raj, then what is?” he asked on Twitter. “Our daughters are not safe, our homes are not safe, there is an atmosphere of fear everywhere. Yogi [Adityanath should] resign.”