In a swift action by the Uttar Pradesh Police, two of the five people accused of raping a woman inside temple premises and then burning her alive in Sambhal district were arrested on Monday, two days after the incident. Superintendent of Police R M Bharadwaj said the prime accused in the case has been arrested and efforts were on to nab the other three.
“The prime accused in the case, Aram Singh and Bhona alias Kunwar Pal, have been arrested. Both of them are being interrogated. Four police teams have been formed and they are conducting raids at various places to nab the other three accused,” PTI quoted Superintendent of police R M Bharadwaj as saying.
The incident took place on Saturday morning when the 35-year-old victim was in her house with her daughter. According to the victim’s husband, the accused allegedly barged into the house around 2.30 am, dragged her to a temple adjacent to the house and gang-raped her. After some time the accused returned and burnt her alive. The hut, where the woman was burnt alive, was used to perform ‘yagna and havan’, SHO, Rajpura, Arun Kumar said.
The victim’s husband also alleged that the woman tried to call the police control room to inform about the incident in the intervening period after the rape, but nobody responded. However, Additional Director General of Bareilly zone Prem Prakash said preliminary investigation had revealed that no PCR call was made.
“As far as the complaint made on 100 (by the victim) is concerned, the call details of the number are being collected and we are waiting for it. Apart from this, investigations so far revealed that as of now, no call was made from this number,” he said. Two constables and a sub-inspector have been suspended on charges of dereliction of duty.
On Sunday, the victim’s husband had filed a complaint against Aram Singh (30), Mahaveer (45), Charan Singh (20), Gullu (21) and Bhona alias Umar Pal (22). They are all distant relatives of the victim and residents of the same village. However, the postmortem report could not conclude whether the woman was raped or not.
“The postmortem report has mentioned antemortem burn injuries as the cause of death. Whether she was raped or gang-raped could not be ascertained… The Forensic Science Laboratory, Moradabad, has been asked to ascertain it,” said Varun Kumar, the station house officer of the local police station.
The incident has caused outrage in Uttar Pradesh, which has come under pressure after BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar was arrested for raping a 17-year-old girl last year. On Monday, Samajwadi Party general secretary Ram Gopal Yadav accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of diverting people’s attention from the rising cases of rape and crime in the country. “Not even Sambhal, cases of crime against women and rape are rising steadily across India. The Prime Minister is trying to divert the attention of the people,” Yadav said.