Budaun case | Main accused still at large

Police have declared an award of ₹50,000.

The main accused in the gang rape and murder of an anganwadi worker in a Budaun village continues to elude the police.

The crime took place on Sunday night and he was seen by the local people till Monday afternoon. On Wednesday, the U.P. Special Task Force was also pressed into service to help the local police. An award of ₹50,000 has been declared by the Budaun police for information leading to the arrest of Satya Narayan. His two aides and co-accused in the case were arrested on Wednesday.

“We have strong inputs and he will be arrested soon,” Sankalp Sharma, Senior Superintendent of Police, Budaun, said.

Chandramukhi Devi, a member of the National Commission for Women, made a controversial statement after meeting the family of the victim. “I have always told women not to go out at untimely hours under somebody’s influence. I think had she not gone to the temple premises in the evening or had a family member accompanied her, the incident could have been avoided. I have been told it was a planned incident. She got a call from the accused.”

She also questioned the role of the police in the incident and described their behaviour as “insensitive”.

“If the police had reached in time, the woman could have been saved. There was a delay in post-mortem as well. I have seen the report … it is a loathsome incident.”

The woman, she said, was not just feeding her family, she was looking after the society as an aganwadi worker. “Suspending the SHO is not enough. It is a case of negligence and mere suspension could not be the end of action,” she asserted.

Mr. Sharma told The Hindu that apart from suspension, an FIR under 166A of the IPC had been lodged against the SHO for dereliction of duty. “The fact that the police were busy with another incident on the said date is no excuse. There is sufficient manpower in the station to handle more than one case,” he said.

A delegation of the Samajwadi Party visited the victim’s family. Senior leader Dharmendra Yadav demanded a CBI probe and ₹25 lakh as compensation for the family. “The Yogi government has failed on all fronts,” he said. The vice-president of the Bharatiya Janta Party’s Uttar Pradesh unit B.L. Verma also visited the family and promised prompt action. Mr. Verma hails from Budaun.

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