UP The murder of a woman becomes a political issue for Akhilesh Yadav. He says…
The body of a 22-year-old Dalit woman who went missing two months ago in Unnao in Uttar Pradesh has been found in a grave near an ashram built by a Samajwadi party leader who died four years ago. The politician’s son is the main suspect and he reportedly led the police to the body.
The discovery, in the midst of UP elections, has left Samajwadi leader Akhilesh Yadav under attack from rivals like the BJP and Mayawati.
The young woman’s decomposing body was dug up from empty land near the ashram on behalf of Fateh Bahadur Singh, who was a minister in Akhilesh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party government in 2012-2017.
His family initially refused to cremate him, demanding swift action against Fateh Bahadur Singh’s son, Rajol Singh, who was arrested last month. They gave in after an assurance from the administration.
“The person they say is from the Samajwadi party died four years ago. The police should explain why it took them so many days to act on the case. We stand with the victim’s family. We are with his mother and her request must be met,” Akhilesh Yadav told ANI news agency.
The woman’s family had named Rajol Singh in a police complaint two months ago. The family says the police failed to act.
The woman disappeared from her home on December 8, 2021. The next day, her mother turned herself in to the police.
On January 24, the mother tried to throw herself in front of Akhilesh Yadav’s convoy in Lucknow.
Chief Samajwadi’s son was arrested the next day after the case came to public attention. He was interrogated a few days ago and that’s when they would have learned where the body was buried. An autopsy revealed multiple wounds on his body.
“We interviewed the accused Rajol Singh in pre-trial detention. After which we recovered the woman’s body on Thursday. The body was buried in the plot near the ashram. We used local intelligence and mobile surveillance to identify where the body was buried,” Unnao Police Supplementary Superintendent Shashi Shekhar Singh said.
Police said the case appeared to be one of a deal gone wrong.
A police inspector was suspended for slowness and a second person was arrested.
The BJP accused Akhilesh Yadav of ignoring the woman’s mother when she showed up in front of his convoy.
“Akhilesh Yadav, the body of a Dalit girl was found on the land of a Samajwadi party leader. You did not listen to the girl’s mother when she was begging in front of your car. You are protecting your party leader. You will protect every crime from Samajwadi party leaders. You will spare no effort to help the accused,” tweeted Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya, number two in the Yogi Adityanath-led BJP government.
Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader Mayawati also targeted the Samajwadi party and demanded action.
“The recovery of the body of a Dalit girl from the field of the SP chief in Unnao district is a very sad and serious matter. The family members already suspected the SP chief of her abduction and murder. The state government should immediately take strict legal action against the culprits to seek justice for the victim’s family,” she tweeted.
The Samajwadi party has emerged as the main challenger to the BJP as Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath fights for a second term in the elections. The results of the seven-phase vote will be announced on March 10.