Two days after a woman was arrested for the alleged murder of a two-year-old girl at Sunna village in Shamli, the panchayat on Thursday socially boycotted the child’s family for “falsely implicating” the accused.
Urmila Kashyap was arrested on Tuesday for allegedly killing Gudiya, the daughter of Harendra Kashyap, a rickshaw-puller, on September 19. Some locals claimed she was seen taking the child to offer as a “human sacrifice” under the belief that doing so would help her daughter-in-law bear children.
At a meeting on Thursday evening, the panchayat warned all residents and shopkeepers in the village to keep their distance from Gudiya’s family.
Gudiya was last seen playing outside her house on September 19. After he failed to trace her, Harendra got a missing report lodged at Kandhla police station. The next day, Gudiya’s body was recovered from a pond in the village.
The postmortem report confirmed that she was smothered to death, police said.
Kandhla police Station House Officer O P Tiwari said, “Urmila was arrested on the basis of statements by two witnesses of the same village, who had seen her with the child on September 19. Locals suspect that the child was murdered… she was taken for human sacrifice, as Urmila’s daughter-in-law had no children even after 10 years of marriage.”
Sunna village pradhan, Gajendra Kumar, said: “How can a woman, who lived near the child’s house and often visited her home, be implicated? The panchayat has ordered that no one in the village will have any association with Harendra and his family and no shopkeeper will sell goods to them.”
He claimed that Harendra was asked to attend the panchayat meeting, but he did not turn up despite being summoned thrice.
When contacted, Harendra said: “I did not attend the panchayat meeting fearing an attack by the villagers. Since after the panchayat’s announcement of social boycott, shopkeepers are refusing to sell anything to us.”
“No one in the village is talking to us,” he added.