Dalit girl raped, murdered near Lucknow; Opp attacks BSP Govt

Lucknow: Close on the heels of the Banda rape incident involving a ruling BSP MLA, a teenaged dalit girl was raped and killed on the outskirts of Lucknow, prompting the opposition parties to renew their attack on the Mayawati government.

The body of Arti, who had gone for sewing classes in Chinhat area, was found in an agriculture field in Malhaur yesterday. Though there were injuries on her body, the post mortem report did not mention rape leading to allegations of foul play.

A second post mortem was conducted today which proved that the girl was raped. "The hymen was ruptured and the girl died of asphyxiation," Special Director General of Police Brijlal said, adding a case will be registered against the doctor, who conducted the first autopsy, on charges of hiding evidence.

Samajwadi Party spokesman Rajendra Chaudhary alleged that "like in the Banda case, there is an effort to save the real culprits of Arti rape case".

Members of different political parties have been visiting the victim's family. Among the first was Congress MP and chairman of National Commission for Scheduled Castes P L Punia who took stock of the case yesterday.

"Though the Uttar Pradesh government is being headed by a Dalit woman, the maximum number of complaints of atrocities on Dalits-- almost 90 per cent-- are from this state," Punia said.

A BJP delegation led by the national president of its Scheduled Castes Morcha, Diwakar, today met Arti's family and lashed out at the state government.

"The mother of the deceased who is mentally disturbed ever since the girl's body had been recovered is repeatedly saying that it is a crime to be poor," Diwakar said, adding that an agitiation would soon be launched in case the government failed to take action against the real culprits.

An official spokesman, however, rejected opposition allegations saying that four people have already been detained in the case.

SP spokesman Chaudhary claimed that family of the victim has been saying that the four who have been detained are not the real culprits and "our party workers are exerting pressure to get the real offenders nabbed".

Arti had left for her sewing classes on Tuesday which used to be held between 3 PM-5 PM but did not return home.

On Janury 13, BSP MLA Purshottam Dwivedi was arrested in Banda a month after he allegedly raped a 17-year-old dalit girl who was later implicated in a false theft case.