The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) that is probing the alleged rape and murder of two Dalit girls in Badaun has found that one of the victims had “telephonic contact” with one of the accused hours before she and her cousin were found hanging from a tree in May.
A CBI source associated with the case told HT that call records showed that the accused, Pappu Yadav, and the victim in question had contacted each other “around 300 times over their mobile phones since 2013.” Yadav is one of five people arrested in this case.
The CBI has come to these conclusions after going through call detail records of the phone numbers that the victim in question and the accused are believed to have owned.
“The night the two girls went missing, Pappu Yadav and one of the victims spoke over the phone after 8.30pm,” said the source.
“The telephone records indicate that Yadav was linked to the chain of events before the crime. This could be key in unravelling the conspiracy behind the murders… The probe is still determining who is telling the truth, whole role is what, and all angles are being looked into,” the source added.
HT attempted to speak to the family of the victims but wasn’t able to contact them on a number they were reachable on before; the phone was switched off.
Yadav’s family had left the village after the UP police arrested him and could not be contacted for comment.
The CBI plans to examine Yadav again and also seek clarifications from the family of the victims. The agency will also re-examine the roles of the four other accused — Awadhesh and Urvesh, brothers of Pappu Yadav, and UP police constables Chhatrapal Yadav and Sarvesh Yadav.
The CBI had recovered the victim’s mobile phone from her relatives in a “badly damaged state” nearly a month after the murders. It sent the phone to the Delhi-based Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) to retrieve any data that could help it with its investigation. The CBI has already conducted lie-detector tests on all the suspects as well as on four relatives of the victims. The results of these tests are awaited.