A DAY after a Dalit girl was raped and strangled in a village in Barabanki, the police on Friday arrested a 19-year-old distant relative of the victim in connection with the case.
Police claimed that the accused, who hails from the same village as the victim, has confessed to raping and killing the girl.
Clearing the confusion over the age of the victim, the police confirmed that she was below 18 and booked the accused under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, along with relevant IPC sections. The police had initially filed a murder case against an unidentified person. Later, after the postmortem report confirmed sexual assault, the charge of rape under IPC section 376 was added to the FIR.
Family members of the victim had on Thursday claimed that they told the police that she was 17 years old, but the police had said that in their verbal complaint, the family had said the girl was slightly above 18 years.
“After registering the FIR, we formed three teams to identify the accused. On the basis of digital evidence and ground information, we arrested the accused. He has confessed to the crime and has given us other details of the incident. We are verifying the information provided by him,” said Additional SP Ram Sevak Gautam who is holding the charge of SP in Barabanki at present.
“In connection with the confusion over the age of the victim, on Friday evening we received a few documents and based on those, it is proved that her age was below 18 years. Thus, we are adding the relevant sections of the POCSO Act against the accused. Under the UP Rani Lakshmi Bai Mahila Samman Kosh and other schemes, financial assistance of around Rs 10 lakh in total will be given to the victim’s family,” he added.
The girl had left for a farm to harvest crop around 4 pm on Wednesday and when she did not return by 5:30 pm, her father started searching for her. According to him, her lifeless body was found in the farm around 1.5 km from their residence. Her hands were tied behind her head using her shirt, and her clothes were rolled down till her feet, the father had told police.
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