New Delhi: A 50-year-old anganwadi worker was allegedly gang-raped and murdered Sunday night in Uttar Pradesh’s Budaun district by a priest and his two disciples.
The woman was allegedly attacked on the temple premises when she visited it to offer prayers.
Two of the accused — Vedram and Jaspal — have been arrested while the priest, who has been identified as Satyanarayan and is the prime suspect, is on the run.
The three suspects were booked under sections 376D (gang rape) and 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code after the autopsy report revealed injuries on the woman’s private parts, police said.
“The post-mortem report has revealed injuries in the woman’s private parts. Based on this and the statements of the woman’s family members, the gang-rape section has been invoked. We have put out teams to nab the priest,” Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Sankalp Sharma said.
A station house officer at Ughaiti has also been suspended for negligence and delay in action after the victim’s family alleged that police dragged their feet in taking cognisance of the matter.
‘Tomorrow it will be us’
According to police, the woman was a frequent visitor at the temple in question. On the evening of the crime, the woman had gone there to offer puja and didn’t return for a long time, her family said.
She was finally brought back to her house — severely injured — in a car by the three men late at night.
“The priest and the other two… said she fell into a well. She was alive then but soon succumbed to her injuries,” said the woman’s son-in-law. “When brought in, she was bleeding from her private parts. She was soaked in blood. Before we could react, the three drove away in the car.”
The son-in-law said “her legs were broken and, from her condition, we could sense that there has been gang rape but police delayed action in the matter”. “The main accused has still not been caught,” he added.
The woman’s eldest son said they knew that the priest and his two aides were responsible for her condition as they got her home instead of taking her to hospital.
“We want the three accused be given death penalty. Our mother was a working woman, used to feed us,” added her daughter. “Now, who will take care of the children? Today they did it to her, tomorrow it will be us.”