A temple priest, the prime accused in the rape-murder of an anganwadi helper in Badaun, was arrested on Thursday night, according to Hindustan Times’ sister publication Hindustan. According to the police, the priest was hiding in the village where the heinous crime took place.
Hindustan quoted police officials as saying that the priest was about to leave the village when the locals apprehended him and handed him over to the cops. A cash reward Rs 50,000 was announced for his arrest.
The priest used to live in the temple where the woman was gang-raped and murdered on Sunday night. He was booked along with his two aides for the ghastly crime. The aides were arrested on Wednesday.
According to the police, the priest is a native of Aonla area of Bareilly district. He moved to Badaun seven years ago and started living in the temple.
As per the police complaint, the woman went to the temple located on the outskirts of her village on Sunday afternoon and did not return. Later, in the night, the priest and his two aides brought her body to her house in a sports utility vehicle (SUV) and informed the family members that she fell into the dry well on the temple premises. They then left the place hurriedly.
The family members, however, informed police and the body was taken for a post-mortem examination on Monday evening. The post-mortem report confirmed rape. The woman suffered a rib fracture and her left lung was also damaged because of heavy force, the post-mortem report further said.
Chief medical officer, Badaun, Dr Yashpal Singh said the woman died of trauma and excessive bleeding.
Meanwhile, a team from the National Commission for Women (NCW) on Thursday met the family members of the woman. NCW member Chandramukhi Devi, who arrived here on Wednesday night after the panel took note of the incident, met officials and took stock of the action taken in this connection.
The Station House Officer (SHO) of the area has been suspended for dereliction of duty. The district magistrate has announced an ex-gratia of Rs 10 lakh for the family of the deceased.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath directed authorities to take the strongest legal action against the accused and instructed ADG Zone, Bareilly to submit a report. He also instructed the UP Special Task Force to assist in the investigation.
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