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Magisterial probe into killing of girl in Aligarh, 2 more held

Mehdi Hasan and Shagufta (32) were arrested on Saturday by the Uttar Pradesh police, which had formed a Special Investigation Team (SIT) on Friday.

india Updated: Jun 08, 2019 23:57 IST
Hemendra Chaturvedi
Hemendra Chaturvedi
Hindustan Times, Tappal (Aligarh)
Uttar Pradesh,police,Mehdi Hasan
The police suspect that the murder was the result of a monetary dispute between the child’s father, Banwarilal Sharma and Zahid.(HT Photo)

Police on Saturday arrested two more people for the murder of a three-year-old girl, whose mutilated body was found in a garbage dump on June 2, even as Aligarh district magistrate Chandra Bhushan Singh has ordered a magisterial inquiry into the death.

“A magisterial inquiry has been ordered on Saturday and will be conducted by ADM (execution) who will submit his report at the earliest,” Singh said.

Mehdi Hasan and Shagufta (32) were arrested on Saturday by the Uttar Pradesh police, which had formed a Special Investigation Team (SIT) on Friday.

The child was reported missing on May 31. Two men, Zahid (27) and Aslam (43), were arrested last week.

Hasan is Zahid’s brother while Shagufta is Zahid’s wife.

The police suspect that the murder was the result of a monetary dispute between the child’s father, Banwarilal Sharma and Zahid.

“After the altercation over money, Zahid lured the girl and killed her with the help of his friend and neighbour Aslam, in whose house the body was kept. When the stench became strong, they wrapped the body in Shagufta’s ‘dupatta’ and threw it in the dump on the intervening night of June 1 and 2. The body was found on June 2,” senior superintendent of police, Aligarh, Aakash Kulhari said.

“Adequate security arrangements have been made in the village to maintain peace and those spreading rumours on social media will be seriously dealt with,” said the district magistrate.

Kulhari said that a security detail has been provided to the child’s family till the case goes to court. “The victim’s family wants capital punishment for the accused and we will work for that,” he said.

“The accused (Zahid and Aslam) have confessed to the murder but not sexual assault. So we have sent samples to the forensic lab to ascertain rape,” he said.

The police on Friday confirmed that the accused have not been charged under POCSO in this case. Evidence has however, been sent to the Forensic Science Laboratory for examination.

“Post-mortem examination has not found any sign of sexual assault. The report confirmed death due to strangulation,” the police said.

Aslam was booked under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) in 2014 and 2017, the police said. He has also faced charges under Uttar Pradesh’s Goonda Act.

“Aslam was booked for sexually assaulting his daughter and a case was registered at Tappal police station. We will compound both these as well as other cases against him,” Kulhari said.

On Friday, five policemen, including the incharge of Tappal police station, were suspended for an alleged delay in registering the case after the child was reported missing.

Meanwhile, in Mohalla Kot, where the accused live and Mohalla Kanungo, where the victim’s family live, residents — a mix of Hindu and Muslim populations — are united in grief over the death.

“I came home for Eid and was shocked when I learnt about the incident. The guilty, whosoever it may be, must be punished,” said Nadeem, a resident.

“She was such a small girl, how can one think of killing her in this manner? No mercy should be shown to the guilty,” said Aqila, a neighbour of Zahid.

While Zahid’s home lies deserted, Aslam’s house is also vacant, though a tractor is parked outside and the doors are unlocked.

Dr Vishesh Gupta from Uttar Pradesh State Commission for Protection of Child Rights visited the area to submit a report to the chief minister. The Bar Association of Aligarh has decided not to represent the accused in the child’s murder. Bar Association president Kailash Babu Gupta claimed that all lawyers would abide with the decision.

(With agency inputs)

First Published: Jun 08, 2019 23:25 IST