A third arrest was made Saturday in connection with the alleged kidnapping and murder of a two-year-old girl hailing from Aligarh. The arrestee, Mehdi Hassan, is said to be the relative of Jahed, also accused in the case.
During investigation, the Uttar Pradesh police found that Hassan was spotted the same day the minor’s body was discovered. He had been absconding since then. The family had not named him as a suspect initially.
The two-year-old was allegedly kidnapped from outside her house on May 30 and her body was disposed of in a garbage dump. The body was found three days later, by which time it had decomposed and animals had damaged it, police said.
The motive is suspected to be a monetary dispute between one of the accused and the girl’s grandfather. He had lent Rs 50,000 to the accused a year and a half ago.
“We were not told much about it since he takes all the decisions. We didn’t question it either. Little did we know that a small amount of money would cost us so much,” a relative said.
The National Security Act was imposed against the two arrested on Friday. Meanwhile, the Uttar Pradesh Police had formed a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the case and sent forensic samples to a laboratory in Agra for further examination.
On Friday, Anand Kumar, Additional Director General, Law and Order, said: “The entire society has been saddened by the crime. A Special Investigation Team, headed by SP Rural, has been formed. A team of experts, the circle officer and members of the forensic team are part of it. We will transfer the case to a fast-track court for speedy justice.”
One of the accomplices in the alleged murder of the minor has a criminal record of allegedly raping his seven-year-old daughter. He was out on bail, the police said. According to police, the accused had a total of four previous cases pending against him — filed under various IPC sections, including 376 (rape), 354 (assault with intention to outrage modesty of a woman) and 363 (kidnapping). He was accused of raping his daughter in 2014 on the basis of a complaint by a relative.
Five policemen, including the Station House Officer, have been suspended for alleged lapses in investigation and an inquiry has been set up.
The family has also alleged the girl was raped, however, the police have so far maintained the post-mortem report does not corroborate it. Aligarh SP (Rural) Mani Lal Patidar, who is supervising the SIT, said rape has not been established so far.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines