A three-year-old girl was found dead in a field in Uttar Pradesh's Lakhimpur Kheri on 1st September after being raped, the police said. This is the third rape-murder incident of a minor in the district in 20 days.
The girl’s body was found just half a kilometre from her home with injuries. A man from her village, Lekhram, has been arrested based on her father's complaint. Earlier the police had called it a murder but later sexual assault was confirmed by the autopsy, said the police.
According to the police, the 30-year-old accused, who was a neighbour to the victim, sustained a bullet injury on his leg during the encounter and was subsequently arrested he is now out of danger. A police constable was also injured in the firing.
The child's father alleged that Lekhram kidnapped and killed his daughter because of an old rivalry. The cop said that the incident was a fallout of an old enmity between the accused and the victim’s family. In 2004, the accused’s wife was murdered following which the victim’s uncle was arrested in the case, he added.
This is the third such incident in the district in the last one month. Lakhimpur Kheri district has been in the news after a 17-year-old girl, who had left home to fill a scholarship application, was found dead outside her village. She was allegedly raped and murdered.
Before this, a 13-year-old girl was raped and strangled in the same district. 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 incidents have sparked public outrage with the Congress and the Samajwadi Party attacking the BJP government of Yogi Adityanath over what they call a worsening law and order situation.
Facing a spurt in crimes against women, especially minors, the state government recently set up a Women and Child Safety Organization headed by a senior police officer to handle these case and ensure the safety of women and children.