The seasons have changed and festivities continue in most parts of North India. However it is the season of mourning for families who have become the latest victims of crimes against women and children. Predictably, the states where these crimes are reported most are Uttar Pradesh (UP) and Rajasthan.
The most horrific is the murder reported from UP’s Kanpur where an innocent child was kidnapped, sexually assaulted, killed by disembowlment as a part of an occult ritual on Diwali night. According to a report in the Indian Express, the local police confirmed that a childless couple in the victim’s village paid Rs 1,000 to two men to perform an occult ritual. The men are the victim’s neighbours, residents of rural Kanpur, and the ‘sacrifice’ ritual they were asked to provide the seven-year-old girl’s liver that was apparently to ensure that the childless couple could have children. According to police the men have been identified as Ankul and Beeran and they said a man called Parshuram, paid them to get the child’s liver.
The criminals then mutilated the child’s body to extract her liver for tantric practices. According to the police the couple who paid for this believed that “eating the girl’s liver” will help them have a child. Police said the couple and the two young men who allegedly committed the crime have been arrested. The report quoted SP (Rural) Brijesh Kumar Srivastava, who said the two men were paid Rs 1,500 and they reportedly used the money to buy alcohol. The accused are reported to have told the police that they first sexually assaulted the girl and then strangled her to death. They then allegedly cut open her stomach to remove her organs, the police told the media. According to the child’s postmortem report shows shock and hemorrhage due to antemortem injuries were the cause of death.
Kanpur Nagar DIG Preetinder Singh said that it was on Diwali night that the girl went missing while playing outside her home. “The next morning, her mutilated body was found around a kilometer from the village near a jungle. Senior officers, along with forensic teams and a dog squad, visited the spot and later we found that two youths from the neighborhood had abducted the girl on the pretext of giving her a packet of potato chips.” The duo tried to sexually assault her, and when faced resistance they tied her hands,” he said. An FIR has been filed under IPC Sections 302 (murder) and 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence) and during interrogation the duo confessed to the crime. IPC section dealing with gangrape and relevant Sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act were subsequently added to the FIR stated the news report.
The two men reportedly ‘confessed during interrogation’ that their uncle gave them money to bring the girl’s liver. “The uncle and his wife said they were unable to have a child since their wedding in 1999 and believed that eating the girl’s liver will help them have a child,” the SP told IT, adding that “both men were inebriated – they took the girl, sexually assaulted her before cutting her body open and bringing her liver to their uncle.” The police have not found the organ at the latter’s house.
Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh CM Adityanath has announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh for the victim’s family and added that the government will ensure hearing of the case in a fast-track court.
कानपुर नगर में हुई दुर्भाग्यपूर्ण घटना के अपराधी किसी भी कीमत पर बख्शे नहीं जाएंगे।
मेरी संवेदनाएं शोक संतप्त परिजनों के साथ हैं, उन्हें ₹5 लाख की आर्थिक सहायता प्रदान की जा रही है।@UPGovt इस प्रकरण की फास्ट ट्रैक कोर्ट में सुनवाई कराकर अपराधियों को अति शीघ्र सजा दिलाएगी।
— Yogi Adityanath (@myogiadityanath) November 15, 2020
Another case, this time a double murder of children, was also reported from UP’s Fatehpur where two Dalit sisters, both minors, were allegedly killed. According to news reports their bodies were dumped in the village pond in the Asodhar area of the district. The bodies bore injury marks in the eyes and were retrieved from the pond late in the evening, police told the media. The girls aged 12 and eight were from a Dalit family, and had reportedly gone to the fields in the afternoon to fetch vegetables but did not return, reported the Dailyhunt. The family members of the victims have alleged that the assailants killed the girls after an unsuccessful attempt to rape them, said the police.
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi has once again questioned CM Adityanath asking him “how successful was his mission Shakti?” She stated that reports of crimes against women from UP show that the state “is not safe for women”. She listed out multiple crimes against women that were reported most recently.
क्या यूपी के सीएम साहब ये बताने का कष्ट करेंगे कि उनका मिशन शक्ति कितना सफल रहा?
क्योंकि यूपी से महिलाओं के खिलाफ अपराधों की आ रही खबरें तो कह रही हैं कि यूपी महिलाओं के लिए एकदम सुरक्षित नहीं है। कई जगहों पर तो लड़कियों ने जान दे दी क्योंकि उनकी कोई सुनवाई न हुई। pic.twitter.com/LoOEPNMhNX
— Priyanka Gandhi Vadra (@priyankagandhi) November 17, 2020
However she too is yet to make a comment on a similar situation in Rajasthan which has a Congress government. In the state’s capital Jaipur a woman is fighting for her life after she was set ablaze by a man accused of raping her.
The incident also took place on Saturday, Diwali night. The police told the media that the man allegedly entered the woman’s house while she was lighting Diwali lamps, and set her on ablaze.
The 35-year-old woman had accused the man of raping her and he had been on the run since April this year reported the Indian Express. The victim has suffered 70 per cent burns and is reported to be in a critical condition in hospital. Her family members have accused the police of carelessness for not arresting the accused earlier, stated the news report.
“The accused poured inflammable substance and set her on fire,” the area SHO said adding that the woman’s minor daughter tried to save her, but also sustained burn injuries on her legs. Her condition is stable, stated the police. The accused, too, is said to have sustained 30 per cent burn injuries.
According to the local police it was in April this year, that the woman had lodged an FIR against the accused, who is her distant relative. “She had stated that about two years ago, the accused had raped her. Since then, the accused, who is around 30 years old, was absconding,” the report quoted the SHO of the police station concerned in Jaipur, where the case was registered.
The SHO added that a court had also issued an arrest warrant against the accused in July. The police have arrested four people, including the prime accused, after the victim stated that the man was assisted by his two brothers and father. “We have arrested the accused, who is also admitted in hospital; his two brothers and his father on charges including those under IPC Section 307 (attempt to murder),” the IE quoted the area SHO said.
However the victim’s family has accused the police of carelessness, stating that it was the delay in arrest of the accused that led to Saturday’s crime. The IE quoted the victim’s husband: “Ever since the FIR was lodged in April, we were requesting the police to arrest the accused. His family members were threatening us and despite requests, the police didn’t take any action. He was arrested only after he barged into our house and set my wife on fire according to a well-prepared plan. My wife’s condition is critical.”