Uttarakhand reeled in horror on Saturday as reports came in that a stranded woman tourist and her daughter were raped and murdered in Gaurikund area of Kedarnath valley. Another stranded woman, from Bihar, too was reportedly raped in the area.
What’s more, criminals reportedly murdered three brothers — all mule traders — in the same area and looted Rs. 17 lakh from them.
Locals told HT unidentified people raped and murdered the woman and her daughter at Ghondhlu Pani village under Ukhimath police station. The other rape also took place under the same police station limits.
According to the locals, the mule traders were murdered in a forest near Chauwasi village of Gaurikund.
The locals said they had informed the police about the crimes.
In this handout photograph released by the ministry of defence, rescued foreign tourists and Indian civilians from the Gangotri area are seen inside the cargo hold of an Indian Air Force Mi-17 transport helicopter at Dharasu in Uttarakhand. AFP
A police official at the Rudrprayag SP office admitted receiving such complaints. The official, who declined to give his name, said no FIRs had been registered.
Asked about the bone-chilling crimes, Uttarakhand DGP Satyavrat Bansal said, “I am not denying that anti-social elements taking undue advantage of the situation. There might have been isolated incidents, but not a spree.”
Bansal added, “I have directed Rudraprayag SP to keep the local police vigilant and all efforts must be made to check criminal activities there if any.”
Locals in the flood-affected areas suspect bands of roving criminals are preying on the stranded people and even stealing from the dead — chopping off fingers to steal jewelry.
The Ukhimath police have arrested a person and recovered cash and other articles he reportedly took off bodies lying in the area. “The arrested person claims to be a sadhu (ascetic),” said a police source.