Police have booked 11 people under the IT Act for allegedly posting fake and inflammatory content in the aftermath of the brutal murder of a toddler in Aligarh on Tuesday, 11 June.
Even though internet services have been restored in Khair tehsil , the police is maintaining tight security to avoid any flare-up after the horrific murder of a two-and-half-year-old girl.
“This ban was imposed yesterday to prevent misuse of social media by some mischievous elements, who were deliberately spreading fake and inflammatory posts ever since the horrific murder of a two-and-half-year-old girl.”Chandra Bhushan Singh, District Magistrate
Prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) banning assembly of five or more people remained in effect in Tappal, where the incident had occurred.
Police arrested two more accused on Saturday, 8 June, bringing total arrests in the murder case to six.
Shagufta and Mehndi Hasan – the wife and brother of Zahid, one of the two main accused arrested on Tuesday, 4 June – were picked up on Saturday morning by the special investigation team formed to probe the case. Zahid and another accused Aslam were arrested after they confessed to killing the toddler because her father supposedly failed to repay a Rs 10,000 debt.
The toddler’s decomposed body was found in the garbage dump on 2 June, three days after she was reported missing by her family in Tappal township.
The police has not ruled out sexual assault entirely based on the initial post-mortem report, and had earlier told The Quint that samples from the minor had been sent to Agra to investigate whether there was rape.
WHAT WE KNOW SO FAR
- NSA TO BE INVOKED: Proceedings have begun to charge the accused under National Security Act, said SSP Akash Kulhari.
- FIVE POLICEMEN SUSPENDED: Five policemen, including a Station House Officer, were suspended on Friday, 7 June, for alleged delay in registering the case after the girl was reported missing on 30 May. They had also allegedly delayed the probe which eventually led to the discovery of her body on 2 June.
- SIT FORMED: A six-member SIT has been formed to investigate the case and a female inspector had been appointed to carry forward the probe.
- WCD MINISTRY IN TOUCH WITH STATE GOVERNMENT: Women and Child Development Minister (WCD) Smriti Irani has said that the ministry is communicating with the state government and they have been assured of speedy justice.
- NCPCR SEEKS REPORT: The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights has sought a report from district authorities. The apex child rights body has also issued an advisory to media houses to ensure that the vicitim’s identity is not revealed by them.
- ONE ACCUSED RAPED HIS DAUGHTER IN THE PAST: Aslam was accused of raping his daughter five years ago, Hindustan Times reported. His daughter was four then. Aslam’s wife had filed a case at the Tappal police station for allegedly raping his own daughter in 2014.
WAS THERE SEXUAL ASSAULT?
- The post-mortem examination confirmed death due to strangulation. It has not found any sign of sexual assault.
- ADG (Law and Order) Anand Kumar told reporters that the victim’s vaginal swabs have been sent for forensic examination to confirm if there was a sexual assault.
- ADG Kumar said the decision on adding the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act to the FIR will be taken after the forensic report comes.
- ADG Kumar said the body was sent for postmortem examination more than 72 hours after the death. “Entry of maggots have been found,” he added.
- Aligarh Chief Medical Officer (CMO) ML Agarwal dismissed reports that the body had acid marks, saying: “There is no mention in the report of any acid burns on the victim’s body.” He said the body had been dumped for nearly four days and hence it had “some signs of tissue damage as a result of normal decomposition”.
- CMO Agarwal also said, “There was some soft tissue damage in both eyes but the orbit was intact. The soft tissue damage was in all probability the result of tissue decomposition as the body had been buried in a garbage dump for a long time.”
SEQUENCE OF EVENTS
- The minor had gone missing on 30 May and the Tappal police station officials had first registered a case on 31 May.
- A neighbour told PTI that the girl was playing outside her home with other children on 30 May before she disappeared.
- The victim’s uncle said a sweeper alerted the family that her body was lying in a garbage dump approximately 200 metres away from their home.
WHAT THE VICTIM’S FAMILY WANTS
The girl’s father, Banwarilal Sharma, had threatened to go on a fast-unto-death, demanding the arrest of the accused’s family members who, he said, “colluded” in the crime. The SSP met him and persuaded him against sitting on the fast.
- NCPCR Seeks Report From Police: The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, meanwhile, has sought an inquiry report from the senior superintendent of police of Aligarh. NCPCR chairperson Priyank Kanoongo spoke to SSP Kulhari on Friday and asked him to take necessary action, PTI reported. On receiving the report, the commission will examine it and issue suitable directions to the district administration concerned.
OUTRAGE OVER THE ‘BRUTAL’ MURDER
The minor’s brutal killing soon took a political colour with Congress president Rahul Gandhi expressing shock over the incident. In his tweet, he asked the UP police to act ‘swiftly to bring the killers to justice’.
His sister and Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra too condemned the inhuman act.
“The brutal murder in Aligarh is yet another inhuman, unspeakable crime against an innocent child. I cannot even begin to imagine the pain her parents must feel. What has become of us,” she asked.
BSP supremo Mayawati described the brutal killing as “highly shameful and sad incident”.
“The Uttar Pradesh government should take strict action immediately to establish the rule of law in the state and put the guilty behind the bars,” she said in a statement in Lucknow.
Celebrities too expressed their shock and disgust. Actor Abhishek Bachchan said that he was speechless after hearing about the horrific act. “Just so disgusted and angered hearing about this,” the actor tweeted.
Raveena Tandon also condemned the “horrible” act and said “the law must act fast”.
Indian cricketer Mithali Raj also condemned the act.
(With inputs from PTI and IANS)