The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has asked the Uttar Pradesh government to pay Rs 5 lakh as monetary relief to the next of kin of the minor girl who was allegedly abducted and murdered by policemen inside the premises of Nighasan police station in Lakhimpur Kheri district in June 2011.
After considering the matter, the commission observed that “in view of the report of the investigation team of this commission and the investigation carried out by the CB-CID, it is established, prima facie, that a police constable attempted to rape the 14-year-old victim, strangulated her to death and then hanged her from a tree in the premises of Police Station, Nighasan.”
The commission stated, “Two constables attempted to destroy evidence. The team of three doctors who conducted the postmortem examination colluded with the police and gave a false report on the cause of death as ante-mortem hanging. The senior police officers committed dereliction of duty by not taking timely appropriate action. Hence, a clear case of grievous violation of human rights is made out.”
In response to NHRC notices, the state government had informed that in addition to initiating departmental proceedings against the delinquent policemen, a chargesheet under IPC sections 302, 376/511 and 201 was filed in the court against them. A chargesheet under IPC section 218 had also been filed against the doctors concerned.
The commission said that the state government, in response to the showcause notice of the commission, also said it had no objection if interim relief was provided to the next of kin of the victim. The commission had taken suo motu cognisance of the incident through media reports.
The killing of the girl in the police station had caused a sensation, with opposition parties criticising the BSP government, headed by Mayawati, for its handling of the matter. Several opposition leaders, including Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi, had visited the family of the victim.
The first post-mortem of the victim had identified asphyxia from hanging as the cause of death but ruled out rape. Following protests, the government ordered a second post-mortem and, this time, strangulation was detected but rape was again ruled out.