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Lalitpur gang-rape: Accused SHO sent to judicial custody; new staff posted in Pali police station


Lalitpur (UP), May 5

The Station House Officer arrested on charges of raping a minor girl here was on Thursday sent to 14-day judicial custody.

With this, all the six accused in the case have been sent to jail following court orders, police said.

“Accused SHO Tilakdhari Saroj was produced before a district court which sent him to 14-day judicial custody,” Superintendent of Police Nikhil Pathak said.

The 13-year-old girl was allegedly raped by four men over three days and was sexually assaulted again by the Station House Officer (SHO) of a police station where she had been left by her attackers, police said.

Saroj was arrested in Prayagraj on Wednesday and was brought here. Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) Jogendra Kumar had removed the entire staff of the Pali police station after the incident came to light.

While Dharmendra Singh has been made the new SHO of the police station, new staff has also been posted there, officials said.

The accused SHO was arrested from an area near the Allahabad High Court. Five others, including the girl’s aunt and the four men who had lured the victim to Bhopal and raped her, have been arrested as well, they added.

Police sources said the girl was lured to Bhopal, about 240 kilometres from Lalitpur in Uttar Pradesh, by four men and they allegedly raped her for three days and then left her near the Pali police station.

Initially, SHO Saroj handed the victim over to her aunt but later on the pretext of recording her statement, called her to the police station and allegedly raped her there, they said.

With the incident sending shockwaves across the country, the National Human Rights Commission had issued notices to the Uttar Pradesh chief secretary and the Director General of Police, asking them to submit a report in this regard within four weeks.

Opposition Samajwadi Party (SP), the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Congress highlighted the vulnerability of the women in the state questioning where they should go to file their complaint and to whom they should trust.

SP chief Akhilesh Yadav also visited Lalitpur and met the rape survivor at the district hospital.

BSP chief Mayawati and Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra took to Twitter to attack the Yogi Adityanath-led state government over the incident.

Deputy Chief Minister Brajesh Pathak, however, said strict action would be taken against the accused and the stringent National Security Act will be slapped against them.

The parents of the rape survivor are labourers.

An FIR was lodged in the matter under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including 363 (kidnapping), 376 (rape), 376 B (intercourse by public servant with woman in his custody), 120 B (conspiracy), and under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and the Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes Act. PTI

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