The Samajwadi Party government has gone into damage-control mode after four major incidents of crime against women rocked Uttar Pradesh in quick succession, suspending the Station House Officer and a sub-inspector of the Gomtinagar station here for their shoddy investigation into the rape and murder of a minor.

The incident occurred at Chinhat last week. It was the autopsy report that blew a hole in the police theory that the five-year-old had died of a dog bite.

The post-mortem report confirmed rape and murder, with no less than 50 wounds inflicted on the victim by the accused, said to be a close relative, who is absconding.

It was the suspended SHO, Devendra Dubey, who invented the dog bite theory. He is also alleged to have accosted the panel of doctors that conducted the post mortem.

While the government acted in the case, but not before rights activists slammed it and the police, no progress has been made in the probe into the Etawah incident, wherein a 20-year-old girl was gang-raped and set ablaze on Wednesday. Etawah is the home district of Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav. A magisterial inquiry has been ordered.

The girl is battling for her life in the Uttar Pradesh Rural Institute of Medical Science at Saifai in Etawah. Additional Director-General (Law and Order) Arun Kumar told journalists on Friday that the girl sustained 80 per cent burns. Six persons, including two women, were named in the FIR, but no arrest was made.

He said police investigations suggested that the girl and a boy were to be married, but things went awry after the boy’s family wanted dowry, a demand rejected by the girl’s parents. To sort out the matter, the girl went to the boy’s house, where he raped her and his family members set her ablaze.

As for the Pratapgarh incident, in which a rape victim’s tongue was allegedly slashed by the relatives of the accused at Jethwara on Wednesday night, Mr. Arun Kumar said Lalji Saroj, who attacked the girl when she had gone to the toilet, was arrested on Friday. Another accused, Indal, was arrested on Thursday. According to the medical report, no permanent damage was done to her tongue, and the injury was “caused by a blunt object, maybe teeth,” he said.

The girl was raped on January 22 this year. The main accused is in jail. The victim was to appear in court on July 24.

In the Saharanpur incident of five motorcycle-borne miscreants having tried to molest and run their vehicle over an athlete on Wednesday, the police arrested Savej, Indrajeet and Varun, while two other accused are absconding.

A Home Department spokesman said the government planned to book the three accused under the National Security Act. A similar action was proposed against the accused in the Pratapgarh incident.