Unnao: Mystery surrounds the death of two Dalit teenagers whose bodies were found Wednesday evening in their family’s field at Baburaha village in Unnao, 60 km from Uttar Pradesh capital Lucknow.
The two girls, it is learnt, were cousins. A third teenager, identified by the family as another cousin, was found in a critical condition nearby and has been hospitalised.
It was speculated in the immediate aftermath of the bodies’ discovery that the girls were found tied up. But there has been no confirmation of the fact.
A brother of one the girls had alleged that they were found tied up with clothes, but he later told ThePrint that he had heard it from someone else. The father of one of the victims said one girl was found tied, while a relative claimed all three were. However, the mother of one of the girls denied this account, with police disputing it as well.
Unnao Superintendent of Police (SP) Suresh Kulkarni said a large amount of foam was found at the site where the girls were discovered. “They were not tied. The family said they had no enmity with anyone,” he added.
Police say they are awaiting the girls’ autopsy results to determine the cause of death. A lot of questions, Kulkarni said, would be answered once the autopsy report is out.
The family claims they have no enmity with anyone. The village of Baburaha has five Dalit families but residents say members of different castes live in unity here.
Six teams formed to probe case
According to Bitoula, the mother of one of the victims, the three were aged 16, 13 and 17 years. The families live in the same lane.
She said the girls had left home Wednesday afternoon to get fodder for animals.
When they did not return till 6 pm, the family went to look for them, she said. “We called out their names in the field but no one answered. Later, we found them in our own field. We can’t accuse anyone as we did not have any enmity with anyone.”
Shanti Devi, a neighbour and relative, said the three were not only cousins but good friends too.
“We saw them playing with each other every day. They were very decent. Their parents are poor and work in the fields,” she said. “Bechaari chhoti-chhoti bachhiyon ko maar diya gaya, kuch samajh nahi aa raha ye kaise hua (the young girls have been killed, don’t know how this happened),” she added, crying.
Chandra Shekhar, another relative, said it is clearly a “murder case”.
Not wishing to be named, a local police officer said the deaths appear to be a result of poisoning.
Police say they have not registered a case in the matter as the family hasn’t filed a complaint. “As of now, we are trying to reconstruct the crime scene to get an exact understanding of the matter. The investigation is underway,” said the aforementioned Unnao police officer who didn’t wish to be named.
“Police have deployed six teams to look into the matter, the villagers are also being interrogated,” the officer added.
This report has been updated with additional information