The Uttar Pradesh government on Saturday decided to recommend a CBI investigation into the Badaun rape-murder, bowing to the demand of the parents of the Dalit teenage victims.
The decision, taken during a review meeting Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav had with top officials, was announced in a press note issued by the CM’s information department in the evening. The recommendation for a probe by the CBI would be sent to the central government soon, the note said.
A PIL seeking a CBI probe was filed at the Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court by an NGO, We the People, whose lawyer general secretary Prince Lenin said the plea would be heard on June 3.
Earlier, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi visited the families of the victims, and the spot where the bodies were found hanging from a mango tree on Wednesday morning. He was accompanied by party general secretary Madhusudan Mistry and UP Congress president Nirmal Khatri.
“The families of the girls told me that they can’t be compensated with money. (They said that) money won’t bring them (the girls) back, and that they wanted justice. They also said that locals were involved, and that the UP Police cannot give them justice,” Rahul told reporters.
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He said he agreed that the CBI should inquire, “but what is more important than a CBI inquiry is that justice should be delivered. Those who have committed this deed should know that such an act cannot be done in India”.
Khatri said should the Akhilesh government fail to recommend a CBI probe within 24 hours, he would sit on an indefinite dharna at the Gandhi statue in Lucknow.
Two other accused, head constable Chhatrapal Singh and prime accused Pappu Yadav’s brother Uresh Yadav, were arrested on Saturday, and were remanded in judicial custody.
Additional SP, City, Man Singh Chauhan said five accused named in the case had been arrested so far. Brothers Pappu and Awadhesh Yadav, and constable Sarvesh Yadav, had been arrested earlier. All the accused had been kept in Badaun district jail, the officer said.
Chief Development Officer Uday Raj Singh, who is currently in charge as district magistrate of Badaun, said the administration was yet to receive the cheques for Rs 5 lakh announced by the government as compensation for the relatives of each of the two victims.
BSP chief Mayawati will, meanwhile, visit the families of the girls on Sunday. This will be her first meeting with the public in over seven years — and will follow her party’s unprecedented rout in the Lok Sabha elections.
According to a BSP statement, Mayawati had decided to “herself visit the aggrieved family on Sunday afternoon to share their grief and help them in getting justice”.
The statement said Mayawati had sent BSP general secretary Swami Prasad Maurya to the village earlier, and had found that “the administration and police were indifferent to the victims’ families’ problems”, and that there was “fear and anger among the villagers”.
Mayawati has not travelled to meet any individual or family since 2007, when she became chief minister of Uttar Pradesh. Her interaction with the people has only been through rallies and speeches. Before becoming CM, she had visited the families of the victims of the Nithari murders.