Budaun: A 50-year-old woman, employed as an anganwadi worker, was gangraped and brutally murdered allegedly by a priest and his two aides in Budaun district of Uttar Pradesh on Sunday night.
Police said that Baba Satya Narayan, the mahant of the temple in Ughaiti, is absconding, while two of his aides Ved Ram and Jaspal have been arrested on Tuesday night.
According to reports, the woman had gone to offer prayers and her body was brought home by the three accused at around 11:30 pm on Sunday. The accused told the family that the woman had fallen into a dry well in the ashram premises and they tried to save her.
The family has accused the police for delayed action and for sending the body for post-mortem after 24 hours of the complaint being lodged which, they said, helped the accused to escape.
A senior police official told media that a cash reward of ₹25, 000 has been announced on the absconding and the officer incharge of the local police station has also been suspended for negligence.
Badaun’s Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Sankalp Sharma said the post-mortem report has confirmed rape, and there are injuries in her private parts and a fracture in the leg.
“On Sunday, the 50-year-old woman, who had gone to a temple, was found dead under mysterious circumstances. Family members of the woman have accused the temple mahant (priest) and his aides of raping and murdering her. Based on this, a case was registered against the accused. Two of the accused persons were arrested on Tuesday night, while the mahant is still absconding,” Sharma said.
The doctors have also confirmed the same. “There were injuries on the private parts. Her ribs were broken and there was a fracture in one leg. There was excessive bleeding and death was because of shock. The viscera has been preserved and the sample has been sent to the forensic lab,” CMO Yashpal Singh told the Hindu.
A video of the accused occultist also emerged on Monday where he claims that the woman had fallen into a dry well and that he and others rescued her. He also claims that the woman was alive when they dropped her home.
Meanwhile, the National Commission for Women (NCW) has sought immediate intervention in the case and has said that it will send its members to probe the incident. In a statement, the Commission has also alleged police apathy.
“We have taken cognisance of the matter. One NCW member is going to the spot to investigate the matter to meet the family and the police and take an exact stock of the situation,” NCW Chief Renuka Sharma was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Priyanka Gandhi also tweeted and lashed out at the Yogi government and also referred to the Hathras case. She said, “In Hathras, the government administration did not listen to the voice of those pleading. The government saved officials and suppressed the victim’’s voice. In Badaun, the police station officer did not listen to the one pleading and did not even examine the place of the incident. There is something wrong in the UP government’s intentions on women’s security.”