An Epidemic of Rape & Murder of Minors in UP’s Lakhimpur Kheri. A 3-Year-Old is the Latest Victim

Gender

An Epidemic of Rape & Murder of Minors in UP’s Lakhimpur Kheri. A 3-Year-Old is the Latest Victim

Illustration: Robin Chakraborty

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s government has consistently claimed that they are “tough” on issues of law and order, thereby defending a hardline approach. But crime hasn’t subsided and reality on the ground is hardly different, if not worse. In another shocking incident from the state, a three-year-old girl was found dead in a field in Lakhimpur Kheri, after being raped and strangled.

The girl had been missing since Wednesday. Her body was recovered from the vicinity of her village in the Sighai area. There were injury marks on the head, police said. On Thursday, the police had called it murder and sexual assault was later confirmed by the autopsy report.

In a complaint, the child’s father has accused Lekhram, a resident of the village. He has claimed that he abducted and killed her due to an old enmity with the family.

Lakhimpur Kheri Superintendent of Police Satendra Kumar Singh said a murder case was lodged against the accused and four teams have been formed to look at the case. “The body has been sent for post-mortem. We are investigating the matter and stringent action will be taken against the accused,” he said.

Lakhimpur Kheri has been in the news for all the wrong reasons, with this being the third such horrific incident of late. A few days back, a mutilated body of yet another minor, a 17-year-old girl was found near a village in the district. She had left her home to fill a scholarship form. Her body was found a day later near a dried-up pond 200 metres from her village. A post-mortem confirmed the rape.

The girl’s father said that her body was slit with a sharp weapon and part of her leg was eaten away by animals, The Indian Express reported.

Prior to this incident, a 13-year-old girl was gang raped and murdered in Isanagar of Lakhimpur Kheri. Police said the girl had gone to her fields in the afternoon and when she did not return home, her family started looking for her. She was found dead in a sugarcane field. The victim’s father has alleged that the murder was brutal. Her eyes were gouged and her tongue cut off. Two men from the village have been arrested in the case.

Lawlessness and Uttar Pradesh have always been synonymous, with ever-rising crime in the state. The Yogi Adityanath government needs to get its act together: The title of “new rape capital” isn’t one he should want, as some are suggesting.

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