Haryana government may have spent crores of rupees in informing the world that it had achieved an impossible feat on women’s safety in its first year in office. But whar happened in Sonepat on Thursday night exposes that claim.
A day after the alleged murder of a Dalit boy in the same district, a group of youth abducted a girl, raped and killed her before burying her to conceal their heinous crime.
According to media reports, a 14-year-old was returning home on Thursday night after watching Dussehra fair at Ashok Vihar along with her family members, when four people abducted her.
Police have arrested all four accused, Sandeep, Nitin, Madan and Praveen.
“The girl was with her cousin, who was riding a cycle. Four people, who had come in an autorickshaw, hit her cousin on the head with an iron rod and abducted the girl. They took her to a secluded place in Nangal village, 10 kilometres away, and took turns to rape her,” Station House Officer (SHP) Dheeraj, from Kundli police station in Sonepat was quoted by Indian Express.
“They killed her as they were scared she would reveal their identities,” he said.
One of the accused, Sandeep, was known to the girl’s family, said the police. They told the police that he was in the autorickshaw with the other accused.
“We started a massive search operation and arrested all four in the early hours of Friday. During questioning, it was revealed that they had killed the girl and buried her body,” said another police officer.
“At 10 am, we recovered the body at Nangal village. The girl was strangulated and had several injuries on her face. She had been hit with a rod as well as stones,” said the police officer.
But the girl’s father says the police responded very late to their distress call.
“We described our ordeal to the police and named Sandeep, who was in the autorickshaw. Sandeep had earlier been arrested and the police knew about it. They arrested the four accused by Friday morning, “ he said.
He said, “We had gone to Ashok Vihar to watch the Ramlila. On our way back, by the time we got a bus at Azadpur Mandi, it was quite late. We were dropped at the Sindu border at about 10.40 pm. There was no transport to take us back home, so we walked”.
He added that though the family had noticed an autorickshaw, which had been following them initially before overtaking them, they didn’t think much about it.
“My nephew had a bicycle. My daughter sat on it and they went ahead. Later, my nephew called me up and told me that he had been attacked and my daughter has been abducted,” he said.
The latest incident will embarrass chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar, who is grappling with phenomenal rise in crimes against dalits and women in the state.
Last week two dalit children were burnt alive in Ballabhgarh and a teenaged dalit boy was found ‘murdered’ in Sonepat.
Many would find the ongoing massive ad campaign ‘ek varsh sarwatra harsh (one year and happiness all around)’ slogan quite ironic as Khattar government has been leaving no stone unturned in shouting about creating safe environment for women since coming to power a year ago.