Lucknow: A woman’s naked body was discovered in a forest near Naubana village in Uttar Pradesh’s Bahraich district Saturday, with the face badly burnt. The identity of the victim is yet to be ascertained.
The body was found by some villagers, who suspect it’s a case of murder after sexual assault, and that acid was poured on the face.
But the police are saying any definite comment can only be made on the basis of the post-mortem, which will be conducted 72 hours after the body was found.
Bahraich SP Gaurav Grover told ThePrint that since the body was found at around 7 am Saturday, no one has come forward to identify the victim, whose age is estimated to be between 20 and 25.
There were no obvious bruises or external injury marks on the victim’s body, but her face was burnt. The village pradhan (headman) Mishrilal Maurya filed a written complaint, on the basis of which a case was registered against unidentified persons under Sections 302 and 201 of the Indian Penal Code for conspiracy to murder and concealing evidence. A three-member Special Investigation Team has been formed to investigate the case.
Speaking to ThePrint, Pradhan Maurya said when the woman’s body was found, it looked like a possible case of rape and then murder, given the absence of any clothing and the acid-burnt face. However, Ashok Kumar, the person in charge of the Murtiha police station, said one cannot assume that since there were no injury marks on the body.
Given no one has yet come forward to identify the victim from nearby villages or even the rest of the Bahraich district, the police have also contacted those who had lodged missing complaints in nearby districts like Barabanki, Lakhimpur Kheri and Shravasti. A pamphlet with an image of the body has also been distributed in surrounding villages, but has not fetched a response.
“We have dispatched these pamphlets to other districts too, and as soon as we get any information, we will share it with the media,” Kumar said.
Second case in a month
This is the second mysterious case reported from Bahraich district this month. On 2 January, the burnt body of a woman was found in the Jogapurwa village, and a case was filed against six persons, including the victim’s husband, after her brother filed a complaint. However, acid was not used in that attack.
According to data released by the National Crime Records Bureau, between 2014 and 2018, 1,483 acid attack cases were registered all across the country, of which Uttar Pradesh had the highest number, with 260.