Man “from same community arrested” for allegedly killing Dalit family: UP Police

On Saturday, police had suspended two of its personnel for allegedly “pressuring the Dalit family compromise with the upper-caste family in a dispute linked to grazing land”

Uttar pradesh police

After the protests and political comments cornering the Uttar Pradesh government over the brutal murder of four members of a Dalit family in Prayagraj district’s Phaphamau area on Thursday, the state’s police, on Sunday, said they have arrested a man “who belongs to the same community as the deceased”. What makes this statement worth noting is that it comes a day after UP Police named 11 people reportedly from a so called ‘upper-caste’ family in its FIR on the murders. Police had then told the media that eight had been arrested, and now the new statement Sunday stating that the latest arrested is “from the same community.” 

The bodies of the 50-year-old man, his 47-year-old wife, daughter (now said to be born in June 1996 ) and 10-year-old son, were found on their beds inside their home at Phaphamau on Thursday morning. The vicitms had been attacked with an axe and killed, the teenged girl had been gang-raped before she was killed. The incident blew up on Friday, as protests by locals alleging police negligence began in the area, and politicians visited the victims’ village. At that time, Sarvashresth Tripathi, the Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of police was quoted by the media that the “deceased family had filed an SC/ST case against some people of the village. The autopsy report suggested that the victims were assaulted with an axe.”  

On Saturday, the police had also suspended two of its personnel for allegedly “pressuring the Dalit family over the past two years to compromise with the ‘upper-caste’ family in a dispute linked to grazing land”, as per a report in the Indian Express, adding that the Dalit family had filed two police complaints but no action was taken. Prayagraj DIG Sarvashresht Tripathi had also said, “Eight people out of the 11 named have been arrested. The remaining two are in Mumbai, and teams have been deployed to trace and arrest them. One accused is admitted in a hospital and is not able to walk. We will question him as well. We will probe the case from all possible angles.” 

Contradictory police statements

On Sunday evening, ADG (Prayagraj zone) Prem Prakash was quoted by the media talking about the latest arrest saying, “The 23-year-old accused belongs to the same community as the deceased. He was harassing the girl by sending her messages on her mobile phone repeatedly. The girl was refusing (his advances). On the basis of the last message and circumstantial evidence, he was arrested.”

According to ADG Prakash, “It has been established that (the 23-year-old) with some others, killed the family members. He has named some people, but keeps changing them. The investigation about the others involved is ongoing. We are taking action based on call details and DNA profiling.” 

The new statement raises a few questions:

Why have the police made a point to categorically identify an accused as being “from the same community” as the victims?

What does this mean for the previously arrested “upper caste” accused?

How will that affect the investigations? 

Will it have an effect on the public perception of the case?

What about the “land dispute” linked to the case?

Who did the Dalit family try to complain against in the past but were turned away?

What has kept the police from sharing what “community” the other 10 accused are from? 

Why were two policemen suspended?

Referring to the 11 initially named in the FIR, the ADG had said, “The people who were named in the FIR so far, it was found that there was some small dispute with the deceased man’s brother. No evidence has come out till now to show that they murdered the family.” He reportedly added that “some messages were found” when the police checked the girl’s mobile and, “When the 23-year-old was held, he denied sending any messages and denied knowing the girl. But when his mobile was found, the messages were there.” 

According to the news report the police also stated that as the deceased girl’s date of birth was June 1996 “POCSO sections will be removed”. The ADG told the media that while “Rape has been confirmed on the girl”, police have “sought medical opinion about how many people committed the rape”. According to the news report the ADG said, “The panel of doctors who did the post mortem has said that there was symmetry in the injuries on the body parts of the girl, which suggest that one person has killed her,” adding when the accused was examined, “some injury marks were found on his body and shirt. He says that they were paan stains, but they seem to be blood stains. We are sending his clothes and other evidence for DNA profiling.”

According to the IE report, a close relative of the Dalit family, who is deployed in the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), has questioned the latest police version. He has reportedly likened this case to the gangrape and death of the 19-year-old Dalit girl in Hathras last year. “I got a call from a policeman who named the person who, the police claim, killed them. I don’t know him. I was told that he lives 5 km from our house… I will believe this new statement only after the other accused are caught and more details are revealed. We all saw the Hathras case where police changed their version so many times,” the IE quoted the man identified as the victim’s younger brother.

According to the victim’s younger brother, “I broke the door open, and saw my brother lying in a pool of blood. I panicked and left. I called the police helpline number and entered the house again only after the police arrived. I saw that my sister-in-law and their two children were also lying dead. There was blood everywhere.”

The matter has now reached the political stage and Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra who met the kin of the victims said, the family is “scared that they may face harassment again”. Gandhi told the media that the women in the family were mocked by the police when they went searching for help and she has accused the administration of negligence and apathy against Dalits, “What happened to Arun Valmiki in Agra, what happened in Hathras and what is happening here? If Dalits are continually being tortured, what is the point of celebrating Constitution Day?” She added that “since  2019, the government machinery has been giving protection to goons.”


Noida hate crime survivor approaches SC seeking fair investigation
Hindutva group tries to evoke ‘love jihad’ bogey in Kasganj case
Uttar Pradesh: Young man dies on return from police questioning, family alleges torture
UP: Muslim man accused of kidnapping Hindu girl dies in police custody
Inquiry into rights violations by UP police during 2019 anti-CAA protests: NHRC
UP: NHRC sets up inquiry in minor boy’s death by suicide after spending 3 months in jail
Anti-Muslim hate on streets: Vendors beaten, forced to chant Jai Sri Ram, boycotted, dargah desecrated
UP: Siddharthnagar SC students waiting for a functional hostel for 11 years!



Related Articles