The Uttar Pradesh Police claimed to have solved the suspected poisoning of three Dalit girls in the Unnao district Friday. Police have reportedly arrested a 28-year-old man, Vinay, and detained a minor, 15. According to reports, Vinay had confessed to mixing insecticide in water to target the eldest girl, 17, after she rejected his advances. However, all three girls reportedly drank the water inadvertently.
The 2 younger cousins, 13, and 16, had been found dead on Wednesday evening immediately after they were rushed to the district hospital. The 17-year-old is currently admitted to a Kanpur hospital. The incident took place when the 3 girls went to cut grass in the fields.
According to police, the culprit, Vinay decided to poison the 17-year-old after she refused to give him her mobile number. Vinay belongs to a village near the cousins’, had reportedly got friendly with them during the lockdown, and they met up in the fields. The minor who was detained following the case is Vinay’s friend. However, the accused belong to a Scheduled Caste like the 3 girls.
During a press conference held in Unnao Friday evening, Lucknow Range Inspector General (IG) Laxmi Singh said, “The accused were taken into custody from an intersection nearby. One of them is Vinay alias Lambu and the other is a minor. Both are residents of the village neighbouring the girls’. Vinay’s farm is adjacent to the girls’ farm and the accused used to meet them regularly since the lockdown. After interrogation, Vinay confessed to the crime and told us the whole sequence of events.”
The police clarified that they had not found any evidence of any physical assault. “According to the autopsy report, no external or internal injury was found on the girls. There were no signs of assault, and the statement given by the accused does not mention any assault on the girls either,” the IG said, adding that Vinay had denied tying up the girls, as alleged by some members of the family.
Explaining the murder scenario, Singh said, “Slowly, he fell in love with the 17-year-old and told her so, asking for her phone number. The girl spurned him, which made him angry. He pressured her initially, thinking repeated proposals will get him a yes. He committed the crime in anger and used an insecticide kept at his farm, mixing it in water.”
“The girls also got some snacks from a shop. They met near Vinay’s farm and spoke for a while. And then Vinay gave a bottle (with the insecticide) water to the 17-year-old. After she had the water, the other two girls snatched the bottle and drank from it too,” Singh further elaborated.
However, according to the IG, Vinay did try to stop the other girls from drinking the water but they did not listen. “After drinking the water, they fell unconscious and a foamy substance started oozing from their mouths. Vinay and his accomplice panicked and fled,” Singh said.
Unnao District Magistrate Ravindra Kumar said that Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has directed that the families of the two deceased girls will be given Rs 5 lakh each. The 17-year-old’s family will get Rs 2 lakh, and the state government will also take care of the cost of her treatment.