Police drop gang rape charge; priest’s 2 aides accused of hiding evidence
Police have dropped the gang rape charge in the chargesheet filed against a priest and his two aides in the alleged gang rape and murder of an Anganwadi worker in Ughaiti area of Budaun district of Uttar Pradesh.
The middle-aged woman, a resident of Kywali village, died under mysterious circumstances on January 3 when she went to pray at a temple in the neighbouring Mevli village. Temple priest Satyanarayan and his aides, Jaspal and Vedram, were arrested under sections 302 and 376D of the IPC after the case created a massive outrage in the region.
Budaun Senior Superintendent of Police Sankalp Sharma said Satyanarayan had been charged with murder and rape, under sections 302 and 376 of the IPC, while Vedram and Jaspal have been accused of hiding evidence under section 201 of the IPC.
The chargesheet was filed on the basis of forensic reports, mobile location of the accused at the time of the crime and CCTV footage of the Chandausi hospital where the accused took the victim after she allegedly fell into the well, he stated.
“No possibility of gang-rape was found in the investigation, which revealed that the deceased did fall into the well. But it also found marks of resistance. There is strong forensic evidence of sexual assault against the priest and the case would be heard in a fast-track court,” he observed.
On why the charges against the two aides were diluted, he said witnesses and call records corroborated that they reached the spot after the incident.
The son-in-law of the deceased said they had yet to receive the full compensation amount and that he had received threats from unidentified persons in the village. “The SHO did visit the village and told people close to the priest that action would be taken against them if they indulge in any verbal or physical assault, but one doesn’t know…,” he stated.
Mr. Sharma said the compensation amount in such cases was released in instalments at the FIR, chargesheet, and conviction stages. “We are in the process of the second stage and we will ensure the security of the family,” he added.
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