The police investigating the gang-rape and murder of the two Dalit cousins in Badaun district of Uttar Pradesh said they were relying on forensic evidence to help build a strong case.
“We have called a team from the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL), Lucknow, to collect evidence from the crime scene,” Atul Saxena, superintendent of police, Badaun, told HT.
A source revealed that a few strands of hair had been collected from near the mango tree where the girls were found hanging.
The two sisters went missing and were found on May 28 hanging from the tree. Initial investigations revealed they had been gang-raped.
Five people, including two police constables Sarvesh Yadav and Chatrapal Yadav, have been arrested in the case so far. Three other accused are Pappu Yadav, Awadesh Yadav and Urvesh Yadav of the same village.
Caste in stone
The accused belong to the dominant Yadav community — a powerful land-owning caste that holds political sway in Uttar Pradesh. But the victims were Shakyas, traditionally peasant farmers who are vulnerable to exploitation by the Yadavs.
Locals in the village alleged that the police are hand in glove with the Yadav’s, ensuring that other castes rarely got justice.
“The village has a population of just over 2500 and 50% of them are Yadav’s. The girls’ families were not well off, but they let them carry on with their studies. The older sister, 16, studied in class 8 and the younger one, 14, studied in class 7,” said Pankaj Gupta, a local.