Three boys, all aged 14, who had gone to pluck fruits in a forest in a Mirzapur village on Tuesday were found dead with their eyes damaged.
Police said the bodies of the missing children were recovered from a water body close to their village in Lalganj area of the district.
While the motive behind the killings is yet to be established, the family has denied any enmity.
The three children—all cousins—used to go to play near the forests, which is just a kilometre from their home, the family said.
Mirzapur Superintendent of Police, Ajay Kumar Singh, said, “On December 1, the children had gone to the forest in the afternoon. We received information that they had not returned and immediately, a case of kidnapping was lodged. The bodies of the three children were found in a nearby waterbody and were sent for postmortem. Action is being taken on the basis of the postmortem report which said that they had injuries on the bodies.”
Speaking to The Indian Express, the uncle of the boys said the bodies had serious injury marks and their eyes were “gouged out”. “Their eyes were gouged out. They had injuries on their hands, waist and heads. The bodies were fished out around 2 pm on Wednesday by police and locals. Police have assured us that they will crack the case soon. We have submitted our complaint, and we have not named anyone as we don’t suspect any person for the killings. Police told us that according to the postmortem report, the children died of strangulation. They said that the eyes had come out because of strangulation and the killers shoved the eyes in the socket with a knife,” the uncle said.
Meanwhile, ADG ( Varanasi) Braj Bhushan Sharma, who conducted an inspection with IG Piyush Piyush Srivastava and Mirzapur SP Ajay Kumar Singh, ordered to set up a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the case. “An SIT will probe the case and strict action will be taken against the guilty,” a statement issued by the police said.
Asked by reporters about the allegation of eyes being gouged out, ADG Bhushan said, “According to the postmortem report, the eyes have injuries… The SIT will solve the case at the earliest. The SIT will be headed by Mirzapur ASP (Operation), Mahesh Singh Attri.”
Police said that IPC section 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence, or giving false information to screen offender) has been added to the murder case.
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