Women ‘gang-raped’, man killed: Police launch hunt for suspects in highway robbery near UP’s Bulandshahr
ROBBERS STRIKE: Car waylaid near Yamuna Expressway in Greater Noida’s Jewar, 4 women gang-raped, male relative shot deadnoida Updated: Jul 05, 2017 10:18 IST
A gang of highway robbers allegedly gang-raped four women in a field and shot dead a male relative trying to save them off the Yamuna Expressway in Uttar Pradesh’s Gautam Budh Nagar early on Thursday, police said.
Eight members of a family were travelling to Bulandshahr from Greater Noida’s Jewar when they were waylaid by the six-member gang at about 1.30am. The gang also looted near Rs 50,000 in cash and valuables, police said quoting the victims.
When the man, 38, tried to resist, he was shot dead.
“We have registered a case of murder, abduction, gang rape and robbery... Three teams, including personnel from special operation group, crime branch and local police have been formed,” said Ram Kumar, inspector general of police, Meerut range. “We are also seeking the help of the special task force to investigate the matter.”
Uttar Pradesh, with the longest road network among all states, accounts for the highest number of highway crimes in India. National Crime Records Bureau’s data for 2014 show 80% of the 84,000 such cases across the country were recorded in the state.
Last July, a mother and her 13-year-old daughter were waylaid and gang-raped by a group of robbers, also in Bulandshahr.
The incident sparked a political blame-game ahead of the assembly elections, with the BJP accusing the then Samajwadi Party government of failing to protect the state’s “daughters and daughters-in-law”. The BJP swept to power two months ago promising better policing.
Like in last year’s incident, the robbers used a home-made device called ‘khadanja’ -- a thick piece of rubber with protuding iron nails – to puncture two wheels of the eight-seater vehicle, a Maruti Eeco.
“They (the robbers) told us to get down and showed us pistols. We were asked to move towards the field. They tied the hands and legs of the men including me by using the dupattas of the women... we begged them to leave us, but no one listened,” said one of the victims. The men are ironsmith in Jewar.
He said when one of the men asked the robbers to leave the women, they fired a bullet near his feet and then shot him in his chest. “They told him, ‘tu kya kar lega (what will you do),” he said.
The owner of the vehicle, who was informed about the punctures by the driver just before the robbers attacked, said he could hear women’s cries for help on the phone.
“I kept saying, ‘hello, hello,’ but there was no response from other side. It made me suspicious,” he said, adding he informed the dead man’s nephew about the phone call.
He later informed police and gave them the location the driver had mentioned.
The Congress accused the Yogi Adityanath government of failing to contain “riot, arson, loot, murder and rape” A team lead by state Congress president Raj Babbar also visited the incident spot, around 100 kilometre from Delhi.
BJP minister Suresh Khanna denied the charges.
“Crime rate cannot be zero in society. Police cannot be deployed everywhere,” he said. “Unlike other regimes, our government will not shield or harbour criminals. We will nab the culprits...,” he added.