Three men in Uttar Pradesh’s Budaun district allegedly raped and murdered a 50-year-old woman, NDTV reported on Wednesday. The police have filed a case against the accused, including a priest, and have made two arrests. The priest is still on the run and the police have formed four teams to find him, according to PTI.
“On Sunday, the 50-year-old woman, who had gone to a temple, was found dead under mysterious circumstances,” Senior Superintendent of Police Sankalp Sharma told PTI. “Family members of the woman have accused the temple mahant [priest] and his aides of raping and murdering her. Based on this, a case was registered against the accused. Two of the accused persons were arrested on Tuesday night, while the mahant is still absconding.”
Although the incident took place on Sunday night, the first information report was filed on Tuesday evening after the woman’s postmortem report revealed injuries in her genitalia. Her leg was also fractured. “The post-mortem report confirms rape, and there are injuries in her private parts and a fracture in the leg,” Sharma said.
The autopsy report also revealed excessive bleeding. “The post mortem reports shows minor injuries to private parts, there are tears and she has a fracture on one of her legs,” said Budaun Chief Medical Officer Dr Yashpal Singh, according to NDTV. “There was excessive bleeding and the bleeding led to shock and that led to the patient’s death. Prima facie we found evidence of rape.”
The woman’s husband told The Times of India that she went to the temple on Sunday evening, but did not return till almost midnight. He added that the accused brought her home in a car, claiming that she had fallen into a well. “My wife was alive by then,” the man said. “But before we could understand anything or ask any question, they left in the car. After a few minutes, my wife succumbed to the injuries.”
However, the woman’s son said his mother was dead when the men dropped her home. “They brought her on their own in a vehicle,” he said. “She was dead when they left her here. The priest and others dropped her at the door and left quickly.”
A preliminary inquiry has found that the officer in charge at the local police station was negligent in handling the case. SSP Sharma said he ordered the suspension of the officer concerned. “Based on complaints of the family members and the postmortem report, a case has been registered under section 376D [gang-rape] and 302 [punishment for murder] of IPC,” the police officer told PTI.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath has taken cognisance of the incident, and asked officials to take strict action against the accused, his office said, according to ANI. He also directed the Bareilly additional director general of police (zone) to submit a report and instructed the state special task force to assist in the investigation, reported News18.
Budaun District Magistrate Kumar Prashant said that the authorities were “paying attention towards the security of the family”, and that the department would extend all the help required.
The National Commission of Women on Wednesday took cognisance of the incident. NCW Chairperson Rekha Sharma has written to the Uttar Pradesh director general of police seeking immediate intervention in the matter. The commission has sought a detailed report of action taken.
On Monday, a video emerged of one of the accused claiming that he and the others had rescued the woman from the well, NDTV reported. He also claimed that the woman was alive when he dropped her home.