On Friday, August 11, a dedicated court established in the Lakhimpur Kheri district for handling POCSO cases found four individuals guilty of the rape and murder of 2022 murder case of two Dalit sisters in Uttar Pradesh. The four individuals convicted by the court were Junaid, Chhotu, Arif, and Karumuddun.
The sentencing for this case is scheduled for August 14. The tragic incident took place within the jurisdiction of the Nighasan police station on September 14, 2022. In response, the district police formed a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to conduct a thorough probe. The case was registered under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, along with pertinent sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Junaid and Sunil, also known as Chhotu, were found culpable by the court for offences delineated in Sections 302 (pertaining to murder), 363 (relating to the abduction of minors), 376-D (concerning the gangrape of a woman under 16 years of age), 201 (involving the concealment of evidence connected to a crime), and Section 34 for jointly committing crimes with a shared intention, as stipulated in the Indian Penal Code (IPC), in addition to their violations under the SC/ST Act.
Meanwhile, the two other accused, Arif and Karimuddun, were convicted under Section 201 (in connection with the concealment of evidence related to the crime) and the SC/ST Act.
Rape and murder of two Dalit girls in Lakhimpur Kheri
Earlier last year, the horrifying rape and murder of two Dalit sisters sent tremors throughout the country. The Uttar Pradesh Police later arrested six persons named Junaid, Sohail, Arif, Hafiz, Karimuddin and Chhotu (Gautam) for sexually assaulting two minor Dalit girls and brutally murdering them in the Lakhimpur Kheri area of Uttar Pradesh. The police officer investigating the case said that the accused Junaid was shot in his leg when he tried to run away during his arrest.
It was reported that two accused, including Junaid, had dragged the two Dalit girls aged 15 and 17 to a nearby sugarcane field and brutally raped them. The girls were later murdered by three men and hanged on a tree with their dupattas after they forced the boys to marry them.
The police had earlier stated that after the three men murdered the girls, they called two more men, Karimuddin and Arif. Now the five men, in a bid to destroy evidence, hanged the girls.
Five accused except Chhotu hailed from Lalpur village while Chhotu was the neighbour of the two girls. Accused booked u/s IPC 302, 376 & POCSO Act.