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THE body of an eight-year-old Dalit girl was recovered from a sugarcane field in Bisalpur area of UP’s Pilibhit district Friday. The Class III student had gone missing Thursday morning after she was reportedly sent home alone by her school teacher for failing to deposit her fees. While post-mortem was being conducted at the time of filing of the report, police suspect the girl was raped before being strangled to death. Following the incident, the district administration came to know that the private school she studied in was being run without recognition from the state education department. Sub-Divisional Magistrate B P Singh, who reached the village after the incident, later sealed the school.
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The FIR lodged on the basis of a complaint by the victim’s father, a daily wage labourer, said he had dropped his two daughters — aged eight and five — to the school around 8 am on Thursday. But a teacher reportedly sent the victim home, asking her to bring the fees that had been pending for the last two months.
“My daughter reached home around 10 am. I was not at home. My wife asked her to return to school and tell her teacher to call me. When my younger daughter, a student of Class I, came home in the afternoon, her sister was not with her. She said her sister never returned to school. We looked for her but failed to trace her,” the father said over phone. He alleged that when he went to Bisalpur police station to lodge a complaint, the officers refused to do so and asked him to come back in the morning with a photograph of the child.
On Friday morning, some villagers spotted the girl’s body in a cane field, about 700 m from her home and 500 m from the school. “There were injury marks around her face and neck. Her school bag was also missing,” said the father. “She was saying, ‘don’t send me back to school. I will go tomorrow’. But I forced her to go back as exams were approaching,” the mother said. Pilibhit SP (City) Ram Suresh Yadav said: “The injury marks and the semi nude body indicated that she was raped. The post-mortem report would confirm the cause of death and also if the victim was sexually assaulted.”
“We have lodged an FIR of murder. We will be adding POCSO Act and other sections later,” said A K Singh, SHO of Bisalpur police station. When asked why no action has been initiated against the school authorities, he added: “The school authorities are absconding. We will lodge an FIR if we receive any complaint against them.”