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Lucknow girl murdered: Pain, grief but social fabric intact

Relatives and sympathisers sit on durries at the door of the victim’s house, expressing open dissatisfaction at police action despite five cops being suspended.

lucknow Updated: Jun 09, 2019 13:22 IST
Hemendra Chaturvedi
Hemendra Chaturvedi
Hindustan Times, Aligarh
Lucknow girl murdered,Mohalla Kot,five cops suspended
People of both communities seek strict punishment for guilty even as cops arrest two more.(PTI File Photo)

An uneasy silence envelops the lanes of Mohalla Kot and Mohalla Kanungo in this township, broken only by the noise of vehicles going to the house of the three-year-old girl who was killed over a financial dispute and whose decomposed body was found on a garbage dump. The victim’s family lives in Mohalla Kanungo, while Mohalla Kot is a Muslim –dominated locality where the accused live.

Relatives and sympathisers sit on durries at the door of the victim’s house, expressing open dissatisfaction at police action despite five cops being suspended. “We have come to know that two more people have been arrested, including prime accused Zahid’s wife and brother Mehdi Hasan but this is not enough. Other family members who were involved are free. We will be satisfied only when all guilty are brought to book,” said the grand-father of the hapless three-year-old girl. Prime accused Zahid had threatened him with dire consequences when he had demanded Rs 5,000 which he lent Zahid.

“I had no idea of what Zahid had in mind as I had given money through a middleman and I thought Zahid was threatening him. But the threat was carried out with my innocent granddaughter,” said the grand-father, admitting that he was aware about the criminal past of arrested accused Aslam but thought Zahid was a drug addict and not a criminal.

Earlier in the day, Aligarh police had arrested Mehdi Hasan who was seen nearby when the body was recovered from the garbage dump in front of Zahid’s house. Later Zahid’s wife Sabusta was also arrested as it was her ‘dupatta’ (stole) in which the body was wrapped before being thrown.

“The total number of arrests have gone up to four now and they would be tried in the fast track court, seeking death penalty,” said Mahilal Patidar, SP (Rural), Aligarh.

“Nobody found involved would be spared as investigation is on and Aligarh police are committed to justice for the innocent girl,” he added while reviewing security arrangement in the area having a mixed population of Hindus and Muslims.

NO ILL-WILL

Fortunately, the locality is unanimous in condemning the incident and there seems to be no sympathy for Aslam and Zahid. “I came for the festival of Eid here and was shocked to know about the incident. The guilty, whosoever it may be, must be punished,” said one Nadeem, involved in construction business.

Faqaruddin who lives in Mohalla Kot near the victim’s house, stressed on stringent action against the guilty.

“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 a Muslim woman Aqila, living near Zahid’s house. The victim’s grand-father too denied that the incident created any ill feeling for the other community with whom they had been living for ages.

Zahid’s house is deserted with the remaining members having moved away. Aslam’s house is also vacant with a tractor parked but doors open.

Aslam is infamous for his criminal past. The neighbours recollect that in 2014 he was booked for raping his own daughter after which his wife moved to her parents’ house with her children, never to return.

“There are at least four cases pending against Aslam, including that for raping his own daughter. The other main accused Zahid did not have a criminal past but was known for borrowing money,” informed circle officer Pankaj Srivastava.

‘CM SHOULD VISIT

Yogita Bhayana from People Against Rape in India (PARI) was of the view that chief minister Yogi Aditya Nath should visit the family. “The chief minister had gone to unveil a statue of Ram. Is it not necessary that kids blessed by Ram should also be taken care of? The chief minister should visit the family as it would be tough for them to travel to Lucknow and meet him in their hour of agony,” she said. “We are pressing for CBI probe as ruling out rape appears to be a conclusion drawn too early without proper investigation,” Yogita said.

Sri Bhagwan Sharma alias Guddu Pandit who had recently contested in Agra on from BSP ticket was also there and sought justice for the child.

Dr Vishesh Gupta from Children Protection Commission assured to submit his report to the chief minister, suggesting imposition of Gangster Act on the accused and due compensation to the aggrieved family.

CASES AGAINST ASLAM TO BE COMPOUNDED: SSP

With the arrest of four accused, including Zahid, Aslam, Mehdi Hasan (Zahid’s brother) and Sabusta (Zahid’s wife,), SSP Aligarh Aakash Kulhari claimed the case had been worked out and detailed the sequence of events.

“After the altercation over money, Zahid lured away the girl and killed her with the help of his friend and neighbour Aslam, in whose house the body was kept. However, as the stench became too strong, they wrapped the body in a curtain and dupatta of Sabusta and threw it on the garbage dump at about 1 am on the intervening night of June 1 and 2. The body was found on June 2,’ said Kulhari.

“Zahid’s aide Aslam was booked for raping his own daughter and a case was registered at Tappal police station. We will compound both these as well as other cases against him,” he said.

“We will give security to the girl’s family till the case goes to court. A speedy trial will be held with the charge sheet filed soon,”he said. “The accused have confessed to the killing but not sexual assault. So we have sent samples to the forensic lab to ascertain rape,” he said, adding that adequate security was being ensured in view of messages going round on social media.

CONGRESS HOLDS CANDLELIGHT DHARNA

Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee (UPCC) on Saturday staged a candlelight ‘dharna’ to protest the brutal killing of the minor girl in Tappal.

Those who attended the ‘dharna’ included AICC secretary Zubair Khan, Rajya Sabha MP PL Punia, senior party leader Pramod Tiwari, Aradhna Mishra MLA and AICC spokesman Akhilesh Pratap Singh. UPCC spokesman Anshu Awasthi said the Aligarh incident had shocked the nation.

Awasthi said action should be taken against officers responsible for such incident and an independent probe be ordered. Awasthi said there was no letup in incidents of crime and such incidents speak on the deteriorating law and order situation in the state. A jungle rule prevailed in the state during tenure of BJP government, he said.

First Published: Jun 09, 2019 13:22 IST