In a late-night crackdown on January 7, the Uttar Pradesh police arrested a priest who is the main accused in the alleged gang rape of an anganwadi worker at Budaun .
District Magistrate Kumar Prashant said that “mahant” Satya Narayan was hiding in the house of his follower in a village in the Ughaiti police station limits and was picked up from there.
He was immediately arrested and is being interrogated by a police team.
On Wednesday, the U.P. Special Task Force was pressed into service to help the local police. An award of ₹50,000 had been declared by the local police for information leading to the arrest of Satya Narayan.
His two aides and co-accused in the case were arrested on Wednesday.
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.”
Sankalp Sharma, Senior Superintendent of Police, Budaun, 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.
He said the police were not hiding the severity of the injuries mentioned in the post mortem report.
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.
(With PTI inputs)