A 13-year-old madrasa student in Uttar Pradesh’s Lakhimpur Kheri was found murdered on Monday evening with her family alleging she had been gang-raped and that her eyes had been gauged out, her head and mouth battered and sand stuffed into her nostrils.
“It looks like a crime committed to send a message, we don’t know what it is,” said Santosh Kumar, a resident of Tikunia, near which the incident took place.
The father of the girl said: “She had gone to the madrasa for regular classes on Sunday but didn’t return in the afternoon. The police registered a missing person’s diary at 11.35pm but couldn’t find her. Her body was found in a sugarcane field in Ramuapur, about 5km from my village.”
“The attackers had gauged out her eyes, battered her head and mouth with a blunt object and put sand into her nose,” he added.
Ganesh Prasad Saha, the superintendent of police of Lakhimpur Kheri, said the post-mortem report was awaited. “The school bag of the 13-year-old girl and her flip-flops were found at the spot. Her family has submitted a complaint in which they have stated that she was sexually assaulted and killed. Prima facie, her clothes were in place. The post-mortem report is awaited,” he said.
The grandfather of the girl said: “Her entire body had swellings. The attackers inflicted injuries on almost every part of her body. Even a layman can say that it is a case of torture, gang rape and murder. Such a crime had to be executed by more than two persons.”
The mother of the child alleged delay in police action. “The police could have saved my daughter had they acted on time and registered a missing person’s diary promptly and looked for her. We had approached the police first at 4pm on Sunday. They said she could return home by evening. We again went to the police station at 7pm but they again told us to wait. They registered the missing report at 11.35pm when a large number of villagers went there and mounted pressure on the police. But they didn’t do anything to find her.”
Saha, the police chief, said: “The family members of the victim have not accused the police of anything. There are definitely injury marks on her body but the reason of death will be ascertained in the medical report. We have formed three teams of the crime branch, special operation group and surveillance to identify the killers and arrest them.”