New Delhi: A nine-year-old girl was allegedly raped and murdered, and then her body forcefully cremated, in Delhi’s Nangal, her family has claimed. The family is from a Scheduled Caste community.
Her family believes that a priest and three employees of a crematorium in the Delhi Cantonment area are responsible, the Hindustan Times reported. The four men were arrested on Sunday night after the girl’s family and others staged a protest. They have been identified as Radhey Shyam, the 55-year-old priest of the crematorium, and three employees Salim, Laxmi Narayan and Kuldeep.
The girl had gone to the crematorium area to fetch water on Sunday, but never returned. Later, the suspects told her family that she had been electrocuted to death by the water cooler. According to NDTV, the girl’s mother went to the crematorium and saw burn marks on her wrist and elbow, and that her lips were blue.
While she was there, the priest and three other accused reportedly told the girl’s not to go to the police, as they would conduct an autopsy and “steal all her organs”. Instead, they insisted that she be cremated immediately. The girl’s body was then cremated.
Later, however, her parents raised an alarm and close to 200 villagers joined them in support. On Sunday night around 10:30 pm, a case was registered. According to the Hindustan Times, IPC sections 302, 376 and 506, in addition to relevant sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and the SC/ST Act, were invoked. The protest by the villagers continued on Monday too.
Delhi social welfare minister Rajendra Pal Gautam visited the protest site and said he would “provide the necessary support to the victim’s family”. The Aam Aadmi Party also tweeted about the incident, saying, “Police should conduct fair investigation. If not then Delhi government will carry out a magisterial enquiry.”
The Delhi Congress president too spoke out, saying Delhi must not be allowed to turn into “another Hathras”, referring to the brutal gangrape and murder of a Dalit teenager.
Updated On: 03/AUG/2021