A six-year-old girl was allegedly raped and murdered in Nagla Kalar area in Aligarh on Thursday, sparking violent protests by locals and prompting police to use force in which at least seven persons were injured.
The minor girl went missing this morning and later her body was recovered at a garbage dump in Nagla Kalar area, police said.
The victim's family alleged that she was strangled to death after being sexually abused, they said.
The alleged rape and subsequent murder of the girl triggered protest in the area as scores of locals gathered at Banna Devi police station here and pelted stones.
Police fired in the air and resorted to baton-charge to disperse the mob in which seven persons, including two women, were injured.
Circle officer of the police station also allegedly thrashed women protesters.
Taking note of the baton-charge on women, as shown by some electronic channels, Additional Director General, Law and Order Arun Kumar ordered a probe into the matter and asked the DIG Aligarh Division Prakash D to submit his report within three days.
"The report will cover lathi-charge on women by police and the entire incident. Action will be taken against policemen after the report," Kumar said.
Warning officials against any laxityin discharge of their duties, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav on Thursday suspended 21 officials and employees including four SDMs and a Circle Officer.
The Chief Minister has suspended circle officer and two policemen in connection with today's Aligarh incident, an official release issued here said.
Four SDM have been suspended in connection with irregularities in food grains distribution through fair price shop, the release said.
The chief minister has warned officials against any laxity in the discharge of their duties and said stern action would be taken against the erring employees.
The police have detained six persons for questioning regarding the clash.
The crowd had also blocked traffic for several hours at the main Aligarh-Delhi Grand Trunk road.
When asked about media reports, showing policemen firing in the air to disperse the mob, DIG Aligarh division Prakash D told PTI that these reports were not true.
He said that there were no serious injuries to any one during the brick batting and subsequent lathi-charge by the police.
The allegation of rape will only be confirmed after a post mortem examination is conducted, Prakash said, adding that the matter is being probed.
Taking note of the incident, National Commission for Women chairperson Mamta Sharma alleged that there was no law and order in Uttar Pradesh.
"There is no trace of law and order in UP. It is so wrong. Policemen responsible for thrashing women should be suspended."
We will take action on Monday, she said.
Meanwhile, Opposition parties in UP attacked the Samjwadi Party government in unison for the use of force by police on protesting women.
Congress leader Rita Bahuguna Joshi condemned the police high-handedness. "We strongly condemn the brutal lathi-charge on women by the policemen," said that former Congress UP chief.
They must crack the whip on responsible policemen, she said.
BJP leader Siddharth Nath Singh said,"There is complete anarchy in UP."
"It is happening everywhere in UP. There is complete anarchy in the state. Chief Minister has no control over the law and order situation in the state," the BJP leader said.
"Don't expect justice from this government," he said.
Meanwhile, the state government suspended two PAC personnel.
Deputy director information Ashok Sharma told PTI that a constable and a head constable, shown in video footages telecast by some TV channels, have been suspended.
Later, some TV channels reported that the Uttar Pradesh govt has suspended 21 police officials after the incident.
He said that Circle Officer (Civil Lines) AK Singh, who allegedly assaulted an elderly woman, has been removed from the post and attached to the police office Aligarh.
Uttar Pradesh government has ordered a probe into brutal assault on public, including an elderly woman, by the Aligarh police just to chase away the protesters who blocked road in protest of inaction of the cops which cost the life of a six-year-old girl today.
"DIG Aligarh, Prakash D has been asked to conduct a probe into inhuman act of the police who allegedly thrashed an old woman," ADG (law & order) Arun Kumar said in a hurriedly called press conference to do the damage control exercise.
He claimed that the report will be submitted within three days and whosoever will be held guilty will be dealt with tough hand. Interestingly, Arun Kumar tried to save the police image which invited sharp criticism for their inhuman and insensitive behavior in several parts of the state particularly after the new DGP, Deoraj Nagar took over the charge.
(With inputs from PTI, IANS)