UP: 4 members of Dalit family found dead in Prayagraj
Four members of a family were found murdered at their home in Prayagraj district, Uttar Pradesh on Thursday. They belonged to a Scheduled Caste. Those killed included a 50-year-old man, his 45-year-old wife, and their two children - a 16-year-old girl and a 10-year-old boy. Relatives alleged the girl might have been raped before her death. Here are more details on this.
- The northern state of Uttar Pradesh, which neighbors national capital Delhi, has one of the worst crime rates in India.
- In 2020, it recorded 3,779 cases of murder - the most for any state - according to data from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).
- The state also reported the second highest number of rapes at 2,769 the same year.
The bodies were found on Thursday morning in a decomposing state. Police said the family had been killed around two days before. Three bodies were found lying on cots in the courtyard while the girl's body was discovered on the bed in a room. A blood-stained axe suspected to have been used by the assailants was also recovered from the spot.
The kin have accused a neighboring, "upper caste" family of involvement in the crime. According to them, the victims and that family had been engaged in a land dispute since 2019. They had even filed two police cases against the accused during the said period. Local police, however, took no action and insisted on a compromise, they added.
"On September 21, the family was beaten up but an FIR was filed only after a week, and then a counter FIR was filed against the aggrieved family too, though they were the ones who got beaten up," a family member told reporters.
"Primary investigation suggests that they were attacked with sharp-edged weapons. The bodies have been sent for autopsy and all angles are under investigation," said SSP Sarvashreshtha Tripathi. Reportedly, 17 people have been called in for questioning. A First Information Report (FIR) has been lodged against 11 people under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
Meanwhile, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Friday arrived in Prayagraj to meet the family members of those killed. Vadra is the party's in-charge for the state. Notably, UP is set to go to polls in February-March 2022.