Crime & Justice

Indian police says Dalit girls poisoned by suitor rejected on Valentine’s Day

New Delhi, Feb 24 (efe-epa).- The Indian police said on Wednesday that the poisoning of three teenagers from the Dalit community – the marginalized outcasts of the Hindu society – in a village in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, which led to the death of two of them, was carried out by a jilted suitor, after the eldest girl rejected him on Valentine’s Day.

The girls, aged 14,15 and 17 and belonging to the same Dalit family, were discovered on Feb. 17 with their hands and legs tied with their own clothes, in a field in the Babuhara village of Unnao district, some 40 km south of the state capital of Lucknow.

Two of them were declared dead on arrival at a hospital, while the eldest remains admitted.

The superintendent of police for the Unnao district, Anand Kulkarni, confirmed to EFE that they had registered the girl’s statement on Tuesday after she regained consciousness.

According to him, the teenager said that they were in a field when two boys, who they were acquainted with, approached them and offered food and water.

The two boys were arrested on Friday, and 28-year-old Vinay has allegedly confessed having mixed pesticide into the water he offered the victims, as he wanted to take revenge from the eldest girl for having rejected his romantic proposal on Feb. 14, Inspector General of Police of the region, Laxmi Singh, told reporters.

The death of the girls triggered widespread protests on Friday over the repeated attacks against the Dalits, who are often victims of atrocities committed by the “higher castes.”

Uttar Pradesh, particularly its Unnao district, has often been in the news for violence against women and Dalits in recent years.

In 2019, a woman in Unnao was charred to death when she was on her way to testify against her alleged rapists.

A lawmaker from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party was convicted of the rape the same year.

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