The body of a Dalit teenager who had gone to get fodder, was found dumped in the wheat fields near her village on Sunday, February 28. This is yet another brutal crime in Uttar Pradesh, in the wake of scores of similar attacks, but has so far not made it to the mainstream national news reportage or TV discussions.
थाना अकराबाद क्षेत्रान्तर्गत घटित घटना में मृतिका के शव को पोस्टमार्टम हेतु भेजा गया, परिजनों की तहरीर के आधार पर सुसंगत धाराओं में अभियोग पंजीकृत कराया जा रहा है । घटना के शीघ्र अनावरण हेतु 05 टीमें गठित, के सम्बन्ध में @sspaligarh श्री मुनिराज जी द्वारा दी गई #बाइट#Aligarh pic.twitter.com/xHjbqtGhiO
— ALIGARH POLICE (@aligarhpolice) February 28, 2021
According to the Uttar Pradesh police, the teenager had reportedly gone to cut grass for fodder and had not returned home as usual by evening. The police have confirmed that she has been murdered, and her body was found later that evening. According to the Amar Ujala, it is being suspected that the teenager may have also been sexually assaulted. A case is being filed and evidence is being compiled with the help of the forensic team, said Muniraj, SSP, Aligarh police, adding that the police started the search as soon as they received information. The body has been sent for postmortem. The teenager lived with her maternal grandmother, an aged widow, in a village in the Akrabad area of Aligarh.
This crime reportedly occurred on Sunday afternoon when she had gone to get fodder. However, according to a report in the Amar Ujala, once her body was found, anger and unrest swept through her village, and locals reportedly insisted that the police reveal the culprit’s names before they ‘allow the body to be taken away’. According to the news reports the villagers held protest demonstrations and allegedly lighting bonfires in front of police vehicles and also allegedly pelted stones. According to the news report Gangiri Kotwal Pramendra Singh was injured as a result. However the villagers eventually let the police take the body for postmortem at around 10:30 PM on Sunday.
The teenager had lived with her elderly grandmother since childhood, and reportedly called her ‘Mummy’. According to the old woman, her granddaughter went to get fodder from the fields around twelve noon on Sunday. But she did not return for a long time and the old woman went to look, she later called some villagers to help search for the teenager. By evening her body was found dumped in a wheat field about 500 meters away from the family’s farm, stated the report. It added that the teen may have been strangled to death, perhaps following sexual assault. By the time the police including SSP Muniraj and the forensic team reached, the angry villagers had gathered there, and a confrontation reportedly ensued.
Here is a detailed analysis of the complex hierarchies of caste and apathetic state machinery, which are a vulgar display of India’s contempt towards women, especially Dalits. According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data of 2019, all States barring the Union Territories recorded 3,91,601 cases of crimes against women and Uttar Pradesh alone accounted for 59,853 cases. From 2015 to 2017, Uttar Pradesh had the greatest number of atrocities registered against Dalits, with an accelerating trend of 8,357 in 2015, 10,426 in 2016 and 11,444 in 2017.
While further information is still awaited on this case, here is a look at the rise in horrific crimes against women and children, particularly those from the Dalit community, here are some attacks that were reported in 2021:
February 24, Hapur: Three men arrested for sexually assaulting a working woman
Uttar Pradesh police arrested the three men on February 27, 2021 morning for allegedly sexually assaulting a woman on February 24 night in Pilkhuwa area of Hapur district, around 70 km away from Delhi. The survivor approached the nearest police station to lodge a complaint after the attack; media reports say police delayed action. The accused Ankit Tomar, Akash Tomar and Aakil, who sustained bullet injuries while trying to escape. According to Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP) Sarvesh Mishra, the accused admitted to committing similar crimes a month ago. Accused Ankit was also jailed in 2013 for sexual assault. The men said they targeted working girls and women who returned home late at night.
February 17, Unnao: Dalit girls found tied up in fields; 2 were dead, 1 was critical
They had been poisoned. On February 17, late evening, media reports surfaced of an incident in Unnao, Uttar Pradesh, that three Dalit girls were found with their hands and legs tied in the field. While two of them were found dead, the third one was taken to the District hospital and is undergoing treatment. The incident occurred in Babura village, Asoha police station area. The family members say that the girls had gone to the fields in the afternoon to fetch fodder for the cattle and did not return until late evening. Then they went looking for them in the fields and found them tied up in their field. The doctor went on record to say that the one girl who was brought to the hospital was gasping for breath and there were indications that she was poisoned.
January 3, Budaun: Woman allegedly gang raped, brutalised inside temple
Victim succumbed to her injuries; police booked a priest and two disciples, and the local SHO was suspended. The 50-year-old woman had gone to offer prayers at the temple on Sunday, January 3. She was allegedly gang-raped and brutalised in the temple compound and died of her injuries. According to news reports the woman’s son said the temple priest along with two others had come to the woman’s house with her body and left. When asked, the priest said the woman had fallen into a well and on hearing her cries for help, he along with two others went towards the well. The accused priest and two disciples were arrested and booked under IPC sections 376-d (gang-rape) and 302 (murder) at the Ughaiti police station.The woman’s post-mortem report has confirmed rape, injury in her private parts, and fracture in her legs.