Four of Dalit family killed in UP, teen allegedly gang-raped

Lucknow, November 27 (KMS): The brutal murder of four members of a Dalit family in Uttar Pradesh’s Prayagraj district over a land dispute sparked protests in the region with politicians making a beeline to the victims’ village and local residents alleging police negligence.

The police said the four members – a 50-year-old man, his 47-year-old wife, 17-year-old daughter and 10-year-old son – were found dead on their beds inside their home in Prayagraj district on Thursday morning by relatives while their 17-year-old daughter’s body was found in the inner room on the bed. Their kin alleged that the women might have been sexually assaulted. Eight of the 11 accused named in the FIR were arrested, the police added.

It is suspected that the miscreants entered the house after scaling the boundary wall and attacked the family while in their sleep. Police also found a blood-stained axe from the spot that is suspected to have been the crime weapon. The bodies were in decomposing state suggesting that they were killed around two days back.

Locals informed police that no one in the village noticed the absence of Phulchandra and his family for two days until a local chaat seller experienced foul smell emanating from their house and informed other villagers. The locals found the main door opened and were shocked when they saw the bodies lying in the courtyard.

“The deceased family had filed a case under Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act against some people of the village itself,” said Sarvashresth Tripathi, deputy inspector general of police, Prayagraj. He said autopsy report suggested that the victims were assaulted with an axe.

A written complaint to the police by one of the relatives of the victims mentioned a land dispute and alleged that members of an upper-caste family had issued physical and verbal threats to the Dalit family in the past. The local residents also said that the family had approached the local police station to lodge an FIR but were rebuffed.

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