BALRAMPUR POLICE on Thursday claimed that the main accused in the gangrape and murder case of a 22-year-old Dalit woman told them that he had been in a relationship with her. She had been pressurising him to marry her, police sources said. The accused, Shahid, 23, made the claim during interrogation after he was sent to police remand for 20 hours by a local court on Wednesday, police said. The police also claimed to have recovered his phone and that they checked the call detail records to find that he and the victim used to talk to each other frequently on phone.
On September 29, the Dalit woman was allegedly sexually assaulted by the two named accused, identified as Shahid and Sahil, and was later sent to her home on a rickshaw in an injured condition. She died on the way to a hospital later the same day. The postmortem report said there were at least ten antemortem injuries on her body and the cause of death has been mentioned as haemorrhage and shock due to the antemortem injuries. A medical test confirmed sexual assault.
Within a few hours of the incident, the police arrested Shahid and his nephew Sahil for kidnapping and abduction, gangrape and murder, two more accused — Sageer, who administered first aid to the woman before she was sent back to her home and rickshaw puller Rafeeq — who brought the victim to her house, were later arrested on charges of conspiracy and not informing the police.
“We had already taken statements of the other accused persons but Shahid had initially denied his involvement. However, we confirmed that the victim was seen in an unconscious state in Shahid’s room and that she was taken out from the rear door of that particular room. Based on that information, we asked for his police remand. Our motive was to recover his phone, question him about the case and find out if more persons were involved. The court granted us 20 hours of remand,” said Deputy SP Radharaman Singh, who is the Investigation Officer (IO) of the case.
“Starting from 7:30 pm on Wednesday when we took him (Shahid) from the prison, we were given the next 20 hours to question him. We decided to take him into police custody in the evening for security reasons as local residents are angry over the incident. During investigation, we found that he frequently used to talk to the woman,” he added.
Shahid also claimed that she was putting pressure on him for marriage, but he did not agree to that as he is married and has three kids, said a police officer.
In an official statement, Balrampur SP Dev Ranjan Verma said that the police had uncovered some “important facts” in the case after taking Shahid into police custody and that further investigation was on.
A police source said that based on Shahid’s statements, he apparently became violent on the day of the incident, when the woman had come to his room, and he caused injuries to her that turned out to be fatal.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines