Ghaziabad police are probing whether the violence that followed the alleged rape of a nine-year-old Hindu girl by a 60-year-old Muslim man in the Loni area and the gunning down of a 30-year-old Muslim youth on Monday morning were linked.
The alleged rape on Sunday afternoon, coupled with rumours of the girl dying, led to a communal flare-up on Monday morning in Loni with protestors pelting stones and torching vehicles.
Around 11.30 pm on Monday, less than a kilometre away from the affected area, a Muslim youth, Jameel, was gunned down by two men. His family alleged he was killed in retaliation. Police are probing the charge.
The girl underwent a medical examination.
An FIR has been registered against the suspect under Sections 376, 354B and 506 of the IPC. The accused has also been booked under the POCSO Act, police said.
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“The FIR had been registered under Section 354B (assault or use of criminal force on woman with the intent to disrobe) of the IPC after initial investigation. But later, Sections 376 (rape) and 506 (criminal intimidation) were also added after the victim’s mother, along with the victim, gave additional statements. We are trying to find out who spread rumours of the girl dying, which led to the violence. We will take appropriate action against them,” Mukul Goel, Additional Director-General (Law and Order) UP Police, said.
The Muslim youth who was gunned down was an auto-rickshaw driver.
SSP (Ghaziabad) Dharmendra Singh said, “An FIR has been lodged for his murder following a complaint by his brother-in-law against two persons — one of who is named. He isn’t very sure the assailants were Hindu. Jameel was driving his auto-rickshaw at the time. We are still investigating if there is any link between his killing and the alleged rape.”
Jameel’s family members alleged his brother-in-law was convinced he was killed in retaliation.
Jameel is survived by three children and his wife, who has been hospitalised.