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Two days after 11-year-old girl’s rape and murder in Uttarkashi, police yet to identify culprits

Amid protests by residents, internet connection was snapped in Uttarkashi and neighbouring districts of Pauri Garhwal, Tehri Garhwal, Chamoli and Rudraprayag from Saturday evening to Sunday night. Uttarkashi remained without internet connection on Monday also, but it was restored in other districts.

dehradun Updated: Aug 21, 2018 01:28 IST
HT Correspondent
rape,murder,Uttarkashi
Residents of the area, suspecting that outsiders may have been involved in the crime, are demanding their ouster from the area.(AP/Picture for representation)

Two days after the abduction, rape and murder of an 11-year-old girl in Uttarkashi district, police are yet to identify the culprits, even as tension prevailed over the incident with locals demanding immediate arrest of the perpetrators of the crime.

On Monday, social welfare minister Yashpal Arya reached Uttarkashi and met the victim’s family in their village, located 20km away from the district headquarters. Deputy inspector general, Garhwal range, Ajay Rautela also reached the spot.

On Sunday, inspector general, state disaster response force (SDRF), Sanjay Gunjyal had visited the crime spot.

Amid protests by residents, internet connection was snapped in Uttarkashi and neighbouring districts of Pauri Garhwal, Tehri Garhwal, Chamoli and Rudraprayag from Saturday evening to Sunday night to prevent rumours over the incident. Uttarkashi remained without internet connection on Monday also, but it was restored in other districts.

Residents of the area, suspecting that outsiders may have been involved in the crime, are demanding their ouster from the area.

Uttarkashi superintendent of police Sukhbir Singh, while speaking to HT over phone, said, “Police are yet to arrest the accused, as questioning of suspects in the case is still on. So far, at least 20 suspects, including both locals and outsiders, have been questioned.”

He added, “The post-mortem examination report has come out, which revealed rape of the girl and not gang rape (as was suspected earlier). There is possibility that the accused was known to the girl.”

“A known person would kill the victim, as he knows that he could be caught if she identifies him later during investigation. Involvement of a local could not be ruled out,” he further added.

Additional director general of police, law and order, Ashok Kumar, said police are making “relentless efforts” to nab the accused. “At least five police teams have been formed to crack the case as soon as possible,” he added.

“Among the teams pressed in, one is a special task force (STF) team and one from Kumaon region’s Haldwani area. Police are trying their best to nab the accused. However, some crucial time was lost on the first two days, as majority of the force was engaged in controlling the law and order situation due to protests by residents,” he said.

Another senior level police officer on condition of anonymity said that initial investigation in the case was “largely affected” due to the revenue police of the area.

“If it was at the hands of revenue police, the suspects nabbed by the regular police would not have been detained. The high court has even told to abolish the revenue police system now, as the situation in the hill districts have changed from the time this system was established,” he added.

“All are questioning the regular police, but nobody is questioning the revenue police that was responsible for law and order in the area,” the officer said.

First Published: Aug 21, 2018 01:28 IST