Two months after a Class 11 student at a government-run boarding school in western Uttar Pradesh's Mainpuri district was found dead inside the school campus, the state government has removed the police chief of the district and ordered departmental action against him for a delay in investigating the case.
Police chief Ajay Shankar Rai was removed by the UP government, on the orders of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, in a late night communication on Sunday. In a press release, the government said Yogi Adityanath had warned police chiefs in all districts in the state not to show any laxity in probing serious cases.The state government also has formed a three-member special investigation team (SIT) to probe into the case.
The body of the Class 11 student was found hanging from the prayer room of the school in September. The parents of the girl alleged she had been sexually assaulted and then killed. They filed a complaint with the local police naming the school's principal, the warned of the hostel where the girl was staying, and two others. But since then, the case has not moved with the police first pushing a suicide theory and the UP government then recommending a CBI probe in the case.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) though is yet to take up the case.
At the time, the police claimed they had found a suicide note in the girl's room saying she was taking her life as she felt humiliated over being named and shamed by some other students and school staff after she stole some snacks. The family alleges this is incorrect and claims no autopsy was done on the girl's body despite clear evidence of assault. The police had denied this two months ago, claiming an autopsy was done and it indicated suicide.
The UP government's action in the case two months after the incident appears to have been prompted by a letter from Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra to Chief Minister Adityanath on November 28. She asked him why no action has been taken even after two months in such a sensitive case. "There is an urgent need for action in the case to ensure security and education for UP's daughters," the Congress general secretary wrote in her letter.
Samajwadi Party MP Ram Gopal Yadav also took up the matter with Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday.
The renewed attention on the case comes in the backdrop of the gangrape and murder case of a 26-year-old veterinarian near Hyderabad that has provoked a massive outpouring of anger across the country and protests in Telangana.