A 28-year-old woman was found dead inside her house in UP’s Gonda on Monday, four months after she tried to set herself ablaze outside the Vidhan Bhawan in Lucknow demanding action against two men accused of raping her last year.
With Unnao police stating that the woman committed suicide by hanging, Gonda SP Rakesh Pratap Singh said two police officers who conducted separate probes in the rape case have been suspended from duty — a third has been transferred.
The woman’s husband alleged that she took the extreme step after police failed to take action against the accused.
“We were seeking action for the last six months. We went to Lucknow last September to meet the Chief Minister. When we failed to meet him, my wife decided to end her life in Lucknow but was prevented by police and sent back to Gonda,” said the husband, who works as a labourer in Haryana.
“My wife ended her life after she lost hope of getting justice… she came to know that police had decided to file a closure report in the case,” he claimed, adding that his wife left behind their two daughters (aged 10 and 8) and a two-year-old son.
SP Singh said the two inspector-rank police officers — Ajeet Pratap Singh and Parmanand Tiwari — had filed closure reports in the case after concluding that there was no evidence to substantiate the charges.
UP Police have also sent Station House Officer (Karnalganj), Ved Prakash Srivastava, to the Reserve Police Lines and handed the case to Mankapur SHO Ashok Singh.
The action against the policemen was taken after Gonda Additional SP, Hridesh Kumar, found that “more evidence” need to be collected against the two accused, Shyam Kumar (40) and Shankar Dayal (38), both farmers from the woman’s village.
On August 7 last year, the woman approached the police to complain that she had been sexually assaulted by two neighbours when she had gone to the fields on February 7 that year. In her complaint, she alleged that the accused also made video clips of the incident and threatened that they would upload them on social media.
Subsequently, Gonda police lodged an FIR under sections 376-D (gang rape) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC along with relevant sections of the IT Act. “At the time, the statement of the victim was recorded before a magistrate. Her medical examination was also conducted but it did not help as the case was lodged almost six months after the incident,” said Additional SP Kumar.
The woman’s husband said he was informed about the suicide by his sister-in-law.
“On Monday morning, I was at my neighbour’s house, when my sister-in-law reached our home and found it locked from inside. She knocked several times on the door. When no one responded, she looked in through a window and saw my wife hanging from a hook on the ceiling. She immediately informed me, and I rushed over and broke open the door,” he said.
“My wife had told police in October that if she did not get justice, she would commit suicide. She was depressed because after filing the FIR, our life changed. I stopped going to work at a private factory in Haryana and lost that job,” he said.
According to SHO Ashok Singh, the autopsy report has confirmed that it is a case of death by hanging.