Lakhimpur rape and murder of Dalit sisters: 7-member SIT formed for speedy probe
Six men have been arrested and sent to 14-day judicial custody in the case that happened in Lakhimpur Kheri district. Police said two among the accused have confessed to strangling the girls after raping them.
The Uttar Pradesh Police on Friday formed a special investigation team (SIT) constituting seven members to probe the rape and murder of two Dalit sisters aged 15 and 17 in Lakhimpur Kheri district. The bodies of the sisters were found hung from a tree on Wednesday night, and a post-mortem report later revealed that they were raped and died due to strangulation.
Lakhimpur Kheri SP Sanjiv Suman said the SIT has been formed for speedy investigation of the case. It will be headed by the circle officer of Nighashan, Sanjay Nath Tiwari, and will have two inspectors, three sub-inspectors including a woman.
Six people have been arrested in the case so far, with one being captured following an encounter with police. The arrested men include a local villager, Chhotu Gautam, and five others from a neighbouring village - Junaid, Sohail, Hafeezul Rehman, Karimudeen, and Adi.
Suman said Junaid and Sohail have confessed to strangling the girls after raping them. The SP further said that Gautam acted as a facilitator who helped Junaid, Sohail and Rehman gain access to the sisters' house on Wednesday. They befriended the girls and lured them to a nearby sugarcane field where they allegedly raped them. When the sisters demanded the men marry them, they overpowered the girls, killed them, and used their dupatta to hang them from a tree, Suman said.
The family of the sisters had initially refused to cremate the bodies if their demands were not met. They were finally buried in a field near their home around 5.30pm on Thursday after the district administration assured the family of financial aid and a trial at the fast-track court.
The six accused were sent to 14-day judicial custody after they were produced before a POCSO court on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Suman told PTI the UP Police is thinking about slapping the stringent National Security Act (NSA) on the six men. The Act allows the detention of people up to one year without any charge.
He added that none of the accused are minor, thereby refuting reports of the kin of some of them making the claim, the PTI report stated.
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