The prime accused in the shocking Etawah gang-rape and attempted murder case was arrested on Saturday evening from a hideout even as police widened the net to catch the others allegedly involved in the crime.
Police revealed that Farhan – also known as Farman – was picked up by a police team from Etawah where he was hiding since the day of the crime a few days ago.
A 20-year-old home tutor was allegedly gang-raped and then set on fire in Etawah by a group of persons led by Farhan, who, incidentally, was her fiancé.
The incident has sent shockwaves throughout the country for its sheer brutality. Furthermore, it took place in Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav's home district.
The girl is admitted at the Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences in Saifai where her condition is stated to be "critical". She suffered 90% burns on her body.
Doctor ML Pananni, under whose observation the girl's treatment is being done at RIMS-PGI Saifai, claimed that there was no improvement in her condition.
After his arrest, Farhan was whisked away to an "undisclosed location" where he is being questioned about the incident and whereabouts of the other accused, including his 74-year-old grandmother.
While several teams were conducting raids in Etah, Kanpur and Kanpur Dehat districts to track the rest of the accused who include Farhan's father Pappu, brother-in-law Shakil, nephew Ahmed, mother Shaddo and grandmother Sabira.
Local intelligence sleuths have also been asked to keep a close eye on the accused persons' house and gather inputs about their possible hideouts.
Sources said that they have been told to share all intelligence inputs with their senior officials directly to prevent the possibility of the accused fleeing.
The heavy deployment of police force, meanwhile, has triggered panic in Ekdil village, the home of the accused, forcing close relatives and friends of the accused to leave the village to escape fearing police harassment.
DIG, Kanpur range, RK Chaturvedi, confirmed the arrest of Farhan, with whom the victim had been having an affair for the past three years. Police had revealed that Farhan's family had demanded a dowry of Rs 5 lakh which had cast a shadow over their marriage. Farhan allegedly committed the crime to avenge the "break-up".
"Acting on a tip-off, police raided the house in Etawah and nabbed the key accused Farhan. Police are conducting intensive interrogation to trace the others," he added.
He further said that victim's father claimed the girl was burnt in a fire accident while lighting a stove while her brother claimed that she was set ablaze after being gang-raped by her fiancé and his five family-members.
The family-members of the girl have demanded her immediate shifting to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi or SGPGI in Lucknow for better treatment.
However, additional director general (law and order) Arun Kumar said shifting was not possible in view of her critical condition and the doctors' opinion. He said the woman was getting the best treatment at SGPGI in Saifai.
While the girl is a graduate, Farhan is a mechanic.