Will Bulandshahr gangrape-murder case take the Hathras route?

The recent murder, after alleged rape of a teenager and her cremation at midnight has brought back memories of the Hathras case

Shubhangi Misra | ThePrint
Image: Shubhangi Misra | ThePrint

On Tuesday, February 3, the buzz in Uttar Pradesh’s Bulandshahr district was that political leaders such as Amit Shah, Akhilesh Yadav, Jayant Chaudhary and Priyanka Gandhi will be in town to campaign for their various parties in the run up to the Assembly Elections due soon. The incumbent Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government of Uttar Pradesh has been highlighting how law and order has improved under its regime in the state. However, news reports challenge that claim.

The recent murder, after alleged rape of a teenager in the district has brought bback memories of the horrific Hathras rape case that as been a shamefull milestone of crimes against women. Now, in the Bulandshahr case also, it is alleged that the police performed the victim’s last rites at midnight. According to a report in Dainik Bhasker, the Bulandshahr teenager was collecting fodder in the fields when she was allegedly gang-raped and murdered. 

The horrific crime did not end there, says the news report, for like in Hathras, while the police did not cremate the body themselves, it is alleged that they pressured the family to perform the last rites of the victim at midnight.

The case dates back to January 21 and was reported from the Dibai-Ghalibpur village that lies on the border of Bulandshahr and Aligarh. It came to light recently when  RLD President Jayant Chaudhary amplified local news reportage on the case, accusing the UP government of not standing by the victim’s family, but enabling her cremation at night, “so that the heinous crime does not come under the spotlight”.



According to news reports, the police-administration is allegedly trying to spin the case as that of a failed love affair where the ‘boy’ involved ‘tried to kill himself too’. However, according to the Dainik Bhaskar investigation the family has revealed that the teenager had gone to get fodder from home on January 21 and was allegedly gangraped there by one Saurabh Sharma, a resident of Dhorau village, and his three companions. They added that  Saurabh allegedly shot and killed the girl. The family told the media that they came to know about the incident when the police phoned.

The family alleged that the girl was attacked and killed at the tubewell shed which was later found latched from outside. They alleged that the accused was also found there and that the police took away the girl’s body separately and took the accused, reportedly injured, in a separate vehicle. The girl’s body was taken to Bulandshahr District Hospital, and according to the family, they were told the next day on January 22, that the post-mortem of their daughter was being done at the Bulandshahr District Hospital. The DB reports that the family demanded a post-mortem be done in their presence the next day, but the police denied. They then reportedly asked the police to bring the girl’s body to the village, but this too was refused. The family also demanded that gang rape accusaion be added to in the FIR, however they alleged that the “police threatened and silenced them” eventually handing the teen’s body over to them at around 8 pm.

The police have denied all charges and said the girl accompanied the accused herself, and then “the boy/ man shot and killed her and injured himself.” They accuse the media of incorrect representation and “sensationalisation”. They say no police personnel were present at the cremation. 



According to a report in The Print, Police said the accused, 25-year-old Saurabh Sharma “had been in a relationship with the girl, and had shot her in a “fit of rage” as he suspected her of cheating on him. He then tried to kill himself by slitting his throat and wrists.” Saurabh, was arrested, and charged under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, as well as kidnapping and murder. 

The family, however, continued to allege that the police have not added the “gangrape in the case FIR” till  now. According to reports the police claim this is a tragedy arising out of a “love affair” and that the accused youth had tried to commit suicide by slashing his throat and hand. He is now under arrest and undergoing treatment for the injuries which are said to be not serious.

The DB report details how the police vehicle allegedly followed the family back to the village, and that the family took the body to the police station and protested. They told the media that they did not want to conduct the last rites on the night of January 22, “as it is considered inauspicious.” However they accuse the police of forcing them to conduct the cremation citing Covid rules. The teen was cremated at 12 midnight. 

While four have been named in the case, police have so far arrested two. According to the news reports the accused belongs to an “influential” landlord family.



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