Lucknow: With the Centre sending a letter to the UP government asking why SC/ST Act was not slapped against the accused in the Badaun gang-rape case, the Home Department here clarifying its stand on Monday claiming, the victims did not belong to the said caste.
"The caste of the victims does not attract the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act", IG, Law and Order Amrendra Sengar here said.
"There is no confusion at the district level in this matter as the caste of the victims does not come under the Scheduled Caste or Tribe," the official said.
The official said that he was not aware whether the letter recommending CBI inquiry into the case, as announced by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, has been sent to the Centre or not so far.
Earlier today, the Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju in Delhi said, "The law is there. It is to protect the SCs and STs from atrocities. It was a clear case of atrocity on a weaker section of the society. We do not know why the state government has not slapped it (clauses) against the accused."
Rijiju said the letter to the UP government has been sent today.
According to sources, the two cousin sisters belonged to "shakya" caste which come under the category of backward castes.
Meanwhile he said, "Sketches of the two unidentified accused are being prepared", adding, efforts were on to establish their identities.
Five accused-- three brothers Pappu Yadav, Awadhesh Yadav and Urvesh Yadav and constables Chhatrapal Yadav and Sarvesh Yadav ---have been arrested in the case that has sparked nation-wide outrage.
The two teenage girls, who were cousins aged 14 and 15 years, were allegedly gangraped and murdered with their bodies found hanging from a mango tree in a village in Ushait area in Badaun.
The girls went missing on May 27 and their bodies were found the next day.
Badaun is 300 km from Uttar Pradesh capital Lucknow.