2 arrested in gang-rape, death of minor in Meerut

A teenage girl was allegedly gang-raped and poisoned in a Meerut village on Thursday on her way to a tuition class. The family members took her to a private hospital where she died during treatment.


The Meerut police arrested two of the four accused — Lakhan and Vikas — after an FIR was lodged by the girl’s paternal uncle under relevant sections of the IPC and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012.


On Saturday morning, when the police were taking the accused to a Meerut court, Mr. Lakhan snatched the revolver of a head constable and fired at the police team. In retaliation, Station House Officer Sardhana fired back at Mr. Lakhan and he was nabbed again.


Rajendra Kumar Shahi, Circle officer, Sardhana said, “The police team was taking the accused from Kapsad village to a Meerut court on Saturday morning. Near the Bahubali factory, the road had many potholes, and the vehicle was moving slowly. Suddenly, Lakhan snatched the service revolver of head constable Sitam Singh and jumped off the vehicle through the back door and ran towards the ice factory. As the police team chased him, he fired at them. In self-defence, SHO Brijesh Kumar Singh fired one round that hit Lakhan in the leg,” he told The Hindu.


Mr. Shahi said Mr. Lakhan alias Abhay had no criminal record. “He has been admitted to CHC Sardhana. Both the accused are adults and are 19-20 years old,” he added. Two other accused are still on the run.


A video of the incident showed Mr. Lakhan walking back to the vehicle on his own with blood oozing from the lower part of his leg.


While the police said a note had been recovered from the girl’s house, family members denied it.


According to the FIR, the 14-year-old victim was a student of Standard X and used to attend tuition classes at the other end of the village.


“She went for tuition at around 3.30 p.m. and when she returned at around 5.30 p.m, she told her mother and me that Lakhan and his three friends gang-raped her and forced her to drink a poisonous substance. We took her to a private hospital, where she died during treatment,” the uncle said in the FIR.


Speaking to The Hindu, the uncle said the girl’s father worked as a labourer in Nasik and was not at home at the time of the incident.


“My niece was good at studies and was preparing for her annual exams. She used to walk to the house of the tuition teacher, a kilometre away from our home. It seems like a planned attack, as she was abducted before she reached the house. The accused live near the teacher’s house and used to study there,” he said.


The uncle refuted the police’s claim that a note had been recovered from the girl’s book.


“No such note was recovered. Had that been the case, we should have been told on Thursday itself,” he said, adding that his niece only carried the number of her mother, written on a piece of paper, in the book.


He said they had not received the post mortem report yet. “We have been told the viscera has been preserved and samples have been taken from private parts for forensic investigation,” he said.


Keshav Kumar, Superintendent of Police (Rural), however, said the note was recovered on Thursday from the victim’s book: “As the family was grieving, they were not told about the recovery of the note on Thursday night. It is a normal procedure during an investigation. On Friday, we showed the note to the family. Prima facie, the handwriting on the note matches that of the deceased. We have sent the note for forensic investigation and relevant sections of the IPC would be added accordingly.”


Mr. Kumar said the other accused would be nabbed soon.


The incident created massive outrage and political parties took on the government for not being able to ensure the safety of women. “The incident is sad and one that creates terror in society…” tweeted Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav. Commenting on Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, he said if the Bharatiya Janata Party’s star campaigner (in the ongoing Assembly polls) could spare some time, he should think about safety of women in Uttar Pradesh.

(Assistance for overcoming suicidal thoughts is available at Sanjivini Society for Mental Health helpline at 011-40769002, Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-7.30 p.m.)


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