The murder of a two-year-old girl in Uttar Pradesh's Aligarh has drawn widespread condemnation and calls for giving the harshest punishment to the accused. The girl was strangled to death and had her eyes gouged out, the police said.
The Aligarh Police have arrested two of the girl's neighbours. Police said they will try the accused under the stringent National Security Act (NSA). Her body was found in a garbage dump on June 2.
Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi tweeted: "The brutal murder in Aligarh is yet another inhuman, unspeakable crime against an innocent child. I cannot even begin to imagine the pain her parents must feel. What has become of us?"
Shiv Sena leader Priyanka Chaturvedi tweeted: "Just can't get over the 3 year old's murder in Aligarh. How despicable a human the accused must be to have done something as heinous to her. As a society we continue to fail our children-their safety should be our priority, change of mindset towards our girls a necessity."
"Angry, horrified, ashamed and deeply saddened beyond words at the barbaric rape of the three year old," actor Anupam Kher tweeted. "The rapist should be hanged in public. No other punishment is enough for this heinous crime," he added.
The Aligarh Police tweeted on its official handle: "According to the post mortem report rape has not been confirmed till now."
"Inhumane, sick and barbaric ... justice must be served and the perpetrators have to be punished .. cannot even begin to imagine what the family is going through ..my heart goes out to them," tennis star Sania Mirza tweeted.
Actress Gul Panag said that the manner in which the 2-year-old girl was killed made her feel that even the death sentence is not enough for the "sick, depraved culprit". "That we live in a country where even toddlers aren't safe, fills me with horror," she wrote.
"I cannot even begin to imagine the plight of her family, her parents," she tweeted, adding that failure to deliver "speedy" justice in the matter would be a "collective failure of the society we live in."
Indian opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan also said the accused deserve severe punishment. "Completely upsetting to see such a barbaric act against an innocent child. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Hoping severe punishment is given to the culprit. God bless her soul," he tweeted.
Actor Abhishek Bachchan said he was "disgusted and angered" hearing about the 2-year-old's murder. "How can somebody even think of doing such a thing?!?! Speechless....," he tweeted.
The girl was strangled after her parents allegedly failed to pay Rs 10,000 as loan.