Mob turns violent, burns over 35 houses
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More than 35 houses were torched by a mob that turned restive in Aasthan village under Nawabganj police station area of Pratapgarh district on Saturday. The violence erupted when the body of an 11-year-old Dalit girl, who was allegedly gangraped and murdered on June 20, was being taken for cremation.
Earlier in the day, four accused (including a minor boy) named in the FIR in connection with the rape and murder were sent to jail. All four were nabbed Friday night.
The body of the girl was found on the morning of June 21. Her autopsy established that she was raped before being murdered. The body was handed over to the family on Friday night.
As soon as the violence started on Saturday, people from five to seven neighbouring villages — numbering between 5,000 and 7,000 — joined the mob.
The police could enter the village after about three hours. The situation was tense but under control, police officials said at the time of going to press. More than 10 fire tenders had been called in to control the fire.
Inspector General of Police (Allahabad Range) Alok Sharma said: "The family members of the girl had decided to cremate her body on Saturday morning because, as per their rituals, it could not be cremated after dark. Today, they were taking the body for cremation. When they were passing through an area occupied largely by members of a minority community, they turned violent. There did not seem to be any immediate provocation. Before the police could react, people from nearby villages came in support of the community that had gone on the offensive."
Sharma said there was constant stone-pelting against the police party that tried to enter the village and it took several hours for them to regain control. "The firefighting is still on," he said.
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