The Uttar Pradesh Police on Friday took into custody two people, including a minor, in connection with the deaths of two Dalit girls in Unnao district, reported PTI, citing the police. The two accused were held on the day the two girls were cremated amid heavy security deployment.
The incident occurred in Babuhara village under Asoha police station in Unnao district on Wednesday. The girls had gone to get fodder for their cattle. Their family members found them lying in their field in an unconscious state after they did not return by evening, the police said. Doctors declared the two girls dead on arrival at a nearby hospital. Another 17-year-old girl, who was also found at the same spot, was being treated in a Kanpur hospital. A medical bulletin said she was in a critical condition but stable, adding that it was also a suspected poisoning case.
“Vinay Kumar, alias Lambu, and a teenager have been held in connection with the case,” Inspector General of Police, Lucknow range, Laxmi Singh told the media, according to PTI. “The matter is a fallout of a one-sided love affair. The accused gave some pesticide with water to the three girls.” The two held are residents of Pathakpur village in the Asoha area. The police officer said they were held on a tip-off.
During the interrogation, Kumar told that he owned a piece of land at the village where the incident occurred. He said that one of the girls rejected his proposal. “When I asked her this month to give me her phone number, she did not give due to which I was angry and decided to kill her,” he told the police, reported PTI. He then reportedly confessed about how he poisoned the three girls.
On Thursday, Uttar Pradesh Director General of Police Hitesh Chandra Awasthi had said that the postmortem analysis could not ascertain the cause of death of the girls.
Six Uttar Pradesh Police teams have been formed to investigate the deaths. Uttar Pradesh DGP Awasthi told The Times of India that forensic experts were helping out in the investigation. The crime scene will now be recreated by a forensic team from Lucknow.
“Postmortem report has revealed several things and our investigation is heading in the right way,” the inspector general of police told ANI earlier in the day. We hope to get a breakthrough soon.” The police have registered a first information report against unidentified persons under Sections 302 (punishment for murder) and 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence or giving false information to screen offender) of the Indian Penal Code.
The police had on Thursday said that they prima facie did not find any injury marks on the girls or signs of struggle at the site where they were found. Locals had taken the girls, who are reportedly related to each other, to the hospital.
Meanwhile, the bodies of the two girls, aged 14 and 15, were cremated with the family’s permission amid heavy security arrangements, reported PTI.
Unnao District Magistrate Ravindra Kumar refuted reports of pressure being exerted on the family, and said the final rites were performed as per wishes. The family reportedly wanted to wait for their son to arrive from another city, and said that the funeral cannot be performed as the sun had set.
The Unnao district administration made elaborate arrangements with installation of barricades, covering about one kilometre on the four paths entering the village. A magistrate-level officer was posted at every barricade to check people. Officers from six police stations were also deployed, according to the news agency.
The Opposition has demanded a high-level inquiry into the incident, while Chief Minister Adityanath has sought a detailed report from the police chief. On Friday, Bahujan Samaj Party politicians walked out of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly because of the incident, alleging that the police was not prompt in its action. The party also moved an adjournment notice with BSP Legislature Party leader Lalji Verma accusing the state government of having a casual attitude.