UP: Temple priest, aides charged with rape-murder of woman
A temple priest and two accomplices allegedly gang-raped a 50-year-old anganwadi worker, fractured her leg and ribcage, before leaving her bleeding to die in Uttar Pradesh’s Badaun district, state police said on Wednesday.
Police arrested the two accomplices, Jai Pal alias Jaspal and Vedram Pal, under charges of gang rape and murder on Tuesday but the main accused, Satyaveer alias Satya Narayan , is still on the run, said Badaun special superintendent of police Sankalp Sharma. The crime was allegedly committed on Sunday when the woman went to the local temple, said the victim’s family members in the police complaint.
“The post-mortem report confirms rape, and there are injuries in her private parts and a fracture in a leg,” Sharma said, adding that the report confirmed a rib fracture too, he said, citing the post-mortem report. The left lung was also damaged because of heavy force, the post-mortem report said.
Chief medical officer of Badaun, Dr Yashpal Singh, said the woman died of trauma and excessive bleeding.
“As per the post-mortem report, the woman got injuries on her private parts and she also got fractures. There were tears and she had a fracture on one of her legs. There was excessive bleeding and the bleeding led to shock and that led to the patient’s death. Prima facie, it is rape as she got injuries on her private parts. Her viscera has been sent to the lab for testing,” Singh added.
The FIR said the woman went to a temple located on the outskirts of her village on Sunday afternoon and did not return. That night, the priest of the temple and his two aides allegedly brought her body to the house in a car and told the family that she fell into a dry well inside the temple premises.
“The priest and his accomplices left the house hurriedly. We were shocked to see the condition of the body. The clothes on the lower part of the body were drenched in blood and a leg appeared fractured,” said a close relative of the family on condition of anonymity.
The family alleged some laxity in the local police, who sent the body for post-mortem only Monday afternoon. Sharma said based on the family’s complaint, local inspector Raghvendra Pratap Singh was suspended for “delay in informing higher authorities, laxity in taking action, dereliction of duty and failure in taking speedy action”. “If any more police officials are found involved in dereliction of duties, action will be taken against them,” he said.
Chief minister Yogi Adityanath ordered strict action against the accused and directed the special task force (STF) to assist in the investigation.
“The CM has directed ADG [additional director general] Bareilly zone to prepare a detailed report about the Badaun incident and also directed STF to assist in the investigations,” a government spokesman said. There is a reward of Rs 25,000 for the main accused.
Sharma, Badaun district magistrate Kumar Prashant, and other senior officials met the victim’s family on Wednesday. Prashant announced an ex-gratia relief of Rs 10 lakh for the family. “Whatever help can be given from the department, it will be given. She was an anganwadi sahayika (helper). We are also paying attention towards the security of the family,” said the district magistrate.
He also announced that the National Security Act (NSA) would be invoked against the accused. “We believe that this incident is a fit case of NSA and we will take action against the accused under the NSA. The case will be tried in fast track court,” he added.
The National Commission for Women (NCW) sought immediate intervention of the police and said it will send its member to probe the incident. In a statement, the commission said it is deeply perturbed by the incident and the alleged police apathy.
Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala termed the incident “horrific” and “shameful for humanity”. Samajwadi Party demanded that the guilty should be punished at the earliest. Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati termed the incident “extremely saddening” and “highly condemnable”.
(with agency inputs)
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