The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Thursday registered a case of gang-rape and murder against five persons over the killing of two teenaged cousins in Badaun, Uttar Pradesh which has sparked angry reactions the world over.
Two weeks after the bodies of the cousin sisters were found hanging from a tree at a village in Badaun, about 300 kilometers from the state capital Lucknow, CBI took over the probe from UP police, which has been accused of not taking prompt action against the guilty.
CBI has mentioned in its FIR that the state police did not act when people approached them with the complaint of girls being kidnapped.
The agency has named two police officials--Chhatrapal Yadav and Sarvesh Yadav--along with three brothers--Pappu, Awadhesh and Urvesh Yadav--who have been accused of hatching a criminal conspiracy to commit gang-rape, murder and violation of provisions of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO).
Last evening, CBI had received a notification from the Department of Personnel and Training and thereafter proceeded to register the case and constitute a 20-member team of the Delhi-based special crime unit to probe the matter.
The team, which is to be headed by a DIG-level officer, will visit Badaun tomorrow along with forensic experts who are likely to examine and recreate the crime scene. "We have received a notification from the government and registered a case," CBI Director Ranjit Sinha told reporters here on the sidelines of the investiture ceremony of the 17th batch of sub-inspectors of the agency.
The two girls, aged 14 and 15 years, were allegedly gang-raped and murdered and their bodies were found hanging from a tree a day after they went missing on May 27 in a village in the Ushait area in Badaun. In a statement, CBI spokesperson Kanchan Prasad said it is alleged that two minor girls had gone to the field when three accused of the same village abducted them.
"The witnesses to this abduction went to the Police Post Katra, Sahadat Gunj and reported the matter to Head Constable and Constable, but instead of taking action, they allegedly slapped and abused them," Prasad said.
She said the matter was also brought to the notice of the officer in-charge of Police Station but the police allegedly did not act. "Later on, it was found that the two minor girls were allegedly gang-raped and killed and their bodies were hung on a tree outside the village," Prasad said.
Faced with criticism of shoddy probe, UP DGP AL Banerjee gave a twist, saying that that rape of one of the victims was not confirmed while suggesting that property could be one of the motives behind the crime.
The UP top cop had claimed that several important facts had come to light in connection with the case after an examination by experts. He had said that although a lot of evidence could have been collected immediately after the discovery of the crime, local police had made no extra effort to do so.
The double rape and murder triggered outrage and the Akhilesh Yadav government came under attack over the law and order situation in UP with political parties and civil society activists demanding a CBI probe in the matter.
Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan and former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati have also visited the homes of the two victims to express their sympathy for the bereaved families.
The case has even drawn criticism from United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon who said, "We have seen despicable attacks against women and girls around the world...I was especially appalled by the brutal rape and gruesome murder of two teenaged women in India who had ventured out because they did not have access to a toilet."