By HT Correspondent
A 16-year-old Dalit girl died by suicide hours after she was raped by four teenagers in Meerut district of Uttar Pradesh, police officials said on Friday.
Two of the four accused have been arrested after the girl named them in a purported suicide note recovered from her room, the officials added.
“The suicide note has been sent for forensic examination,” Superintendent of Police Meerut (Rural) Keshav Mishra said.
One of the accused and the girl studied at the same tuition, Mishra said, adding that the four accused allegedly accosted her when she was returning home after her tuition class on Thursday evening and raped her. The accused are aged between 18 and 19 years of age, he said.
The girl’s family members rushed her to a doctor in the village but later she was taken to a city hospital, the official said. She died during treatment at the hospital on Thursday night, he added.
Meanwhile, the last rites of the minor were performed after a post-mortem examination, officials said. The girl’s family could not be reached.
A case under Sections 302 (murder) and 376 (rape) was registered late on Thursday night against the accused,” said Mishra. Efforts are on to nab the other two accused, he said. Later, relevant sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Pocso) Act and Section 328 of the IPC (causing hurt by means of poison) were also added to the FIR, he added.
A political row erupted in the state after the incident.
“Crimes against women and girls and Dalits under this government have become uncontrollable. But this government instead of checking the crime against women is busy in hollow publicity of Mission Shakti [campaign for women safety and empowerment] to fool people. But anyway all these failures of this government will come to an end when the people vote this government out in 2022 polls,” said Samajwadi Party state spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary.
“Not aware of exact details of the case, but, all the same, our party government’s focus against crime and criminals is obvious. You saw how dons are now on wheelchair, thinking of ways to avoid coming to UP. In UP law of the land is now supreme. This case that you mention or any other crime case, law will take it’s own course,” said UP BJP secretary Chandramohan
In 2019, UP reported the most number of crimes against women, roughly one every 10 minutes, according to the National Crime Records Bureau. Experts say that uneven law enforcement, feudal attitudes and lack of education contribute to the lack of safety for women.