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Police suspect ‘jilted lover’ behind death of UP Dalit girl found ‘murdered’ metres away from home

According to police, the class 10 student, sustained an internal injury, possibly after being forcefully hit with a blunt object, leading to her death. Post-mortem rules out sexual assault.

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New Delhi: The Uttar Pradesh police is suspecting a “jilted lover” to be behind the alleged murder of a 17-year-old Dalit girl, who had left home to go for her tuition class Friday afternoon, but was found dead at a distance of merely 600 metres from her residence Friday.

According to the police, the Class 10 student, who lives in Kirra village of Bulandshahr district, sustained an internal injury on the left side of her forehead, possibly after being forcefully hit with a blunt object, which led to her death. The post-mortem examination has confirmed that she was not sexually assaulted, police said.

“We have registered a case of murder in the matter. The postmortem has confirmed that she was hit on the head, which led to her death. Her clothes were found to be intact, the medical examination has not shown any sexual assault,” SSP Bulandshahr Santosh Kumar Singh told ThePrint.

According to the police, the girl had left her home around 1 pm for a tuition class and took a kuccha road, which leads to the highway.

“A couple from the neighbourhood were passing by on a cycle on Friday around 1pm and saw the girl lying by the roadside. The woman got down from the cycle and identified the girl. She then informed the police. The girl was rushed to the hospital but declared dead on arrival,” Singh said.

The police have detained a man from a nearby village who was spotted by the couple near the victim’s body, and also called a few suspects from the neighbouring villages for questioning. No arrests have been made in the case yet.

The police have also seized the girl’s mobile phone and claimed to have found “key information” that may help them reach the accused.

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Evidence in the mobile phone

The police suspects  a “former lover”  or “jilted lover” could be behind the girl’s murder.

“We have found some messages and content from the girl’s phone, which suggests that the accused could be a former lover or even a jilted lover. We are exploring all these angles,” a senior officer in UP Police said.

According to the officer, the police have also accessed the call detail records of the girl’s phone to see who all she spoke to in the last hour, before her body was found.

“We have accessed the girl’s CDR. We have also noted numbers of people she often spoke to during the day. Based on this analysis, we have called a few more people for questioning. The person whom she spoke to last is also a suspect,” the officer said.

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Eye witness account

According to the police, the couple who made a PCR call informing about the dead body also told the police that they saw a man in a red T-shirt and black lower running away from the spot towards the nearby fields.

Following this information, a team was constituted to look for the man.

“We sent search parties within a five-kilometer radius to search for the man. When our men reached the adjacent village and asked around for this man in a red t-shirt, the villagers told them that they too had seen a man running and hiding. The teams then went ahead in that direction. After reaching a third village, another woman confirmed that she saw a man in a red t-shirt running towards the fields,” the officer quoted above said.

He added: “Our teams followed that track and finally nabbed that man in the red T-shirt. He was brought to the police station and questioned, but he has not been able to give many answers.”

The man, who is now a key suspect, is a resident of Khurja village, which is 15 kilometers away from where the girl’s body was found. The police officer said, the man — aged in his thirties — is a drug addict and has not been very coherent in his statements.

“We are questioning him, but have not yet found enough evidence to formally arrest him,” the officer said.

Also read: Over 15% drop in crime rate, rape cases down by 21.63% in Delhi in 2020, police say

Women demand safety

The incident has sparked an outrage, with young women from the village getting together, demanding “a safe area to move around”.

Videos of local women speaking against such crimes are also doing the rounds of social media.

In one such video clip, Anshu, a resident of the village, is heard telling reporters, that “We are not upset but terrified. We want safety. We are not safe in our homes, in our own village. These people in our village do not let us study, because they feel it is not safe to step out. Put us inside our homes and lock it from outside, is that what our families want?” Anshu, a resident of the village told reporters.

She added: “We will now speak out for ourselves. When we walk to our homes, we are scared to take an empty stretch. These men look at us like hungry wolves, and no one says anything to them. Just to study, we must go through so much every day,” she told reporters.

(Edited by Poulomi Banerjee)

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