For two families whose teen daughters were raped before being hanged alive, more challenges lie in store than coping with their over-whelming grief.
The CBI, which is investigating the double murder in the Badaun district in central Uttar Pradesh, wants the relatives of the victims, who were cousins, to go through lie detector tests. The father of one of the victims was among the relatives who first alerted the police that the girls were missing. The police refused to help, allegedly because the girls were Dalits, and the men identified by the families as their abductors were higher-caste Yadavs.
The relatives have agreed to the CBI’s request for a lie detector test, said sources; now, a court will have to sanction them.
The egregious contours of the case elicited international attention. When the girls, aged 14 and 15, were found hanging side by side from a mango tree, their families refused to allow policemen to bring down the bodies till the alleged killers were arrested.
The five suspects jailed since then include two policemen who are accused of being criminal accessories. The top cop in Uttar Pradesh, Director General of Police AL Banerjee had recently denied the girls were raped and was quoted as saying their deaths were “an honour killing.”
At the start of the month, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, attacked for his administration’s handling of the case, asked for a federal investigation by the CBI, which then sent forensic experts along with investigators to collect evidence.
The families of the girls have said they had no faith in the impartiality of local police, accusing them of being “hand-in-glove” with the killers.
The father of one of the victims said his daughter and her cousin were attacked at night when they went to the fields to relieve themselves as there house had no toilet. The family reported the girls’ disappearance to the police which refused to search for them.