The 11 policemen of the Nighasan police station in Lakhimpur-Kheri, who had been suspended in the case of the rape and murder of a 14-year-old girl, are absconding.
The men went underground before they could be questioned by the Crime Branch of the state’s Criminal Investigation Department (CB-CID), which is investigating the case. A National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) team, which visited the area, was also unable to question them.
The girl had been allegedly raped and murdered on the police station premises. She was missing since the morning of June 10 and the same evening her body was found hanging from a tree on the premises.
The policemen were suspended on June 13, after the girl’s parents alleged they were being pressured to withdraw the case.
That day, the policemen reported at the Police Lines at the district headquarters, but disappeared soon after. According to the rules, they were to report there every day.
Superintendent of police, Lakhimpur-Kheri, Amit Chandra, told Hindustan Times: “I am not aware of the whereabouts of the 11 men. I have ordered a departmental inquiry and action will be taken against them.”
On June 13, the police had registered an FIR against four of the men — Vinay Kumar Singh, Shiv Kumar, Uma Shankar and the cook at the police station, Ram Chander.
They are charged with destruction of evidence.
In an affidavit submitted to the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad high court on Friday, the CB-CID said though Chander has been arrested, Vinay Kumar Singh and Shiv Kumar are absconding.
Efforts are being made to arrest them.
Fearing for their lives, the parents of the girl, meanwhile, asked the district administration on Friday to strengthen security around their home.
They told HT that the absconding policemen might try to eliminate them and their five-year-old son, who is a prime witness in the case.
Union minister and Congress MP Jitin Prasada asked the district administration to provide extra security to the family.