Mayawati suspends police officer in girl's murder

Mayawati suspends police officer in girl's murder

Mayawati suspends police officer in girl's murder

While assuring that justice would be done, she however said a CBI probe could botch up the case.

Announcing the suspension of Lakhimpur-Kheri Superintendent of Police D.K. Rai at a press conference here, Mayawati cited the unsolved three-year-old Aarushi Talwar murder case to justify her disinclination for a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe.

"If the victim's family wants the case to be handed over to CBI, I am not against the idea. But going by past experience and botch-ups by the country's premier investigation agency in the Arushi Talwar case, I would not want this case also meets the same end as the Arushi case."

The Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court also directed the state government to furnish details of the action initiated by the state police. The issue was raised through a suit filed by a social body, 'We the People'.

The matter came up before a special vacation bench comprising Justice S.N. Shukla and Justice Devendra Arora, who gave the administration two days to submit an interim report. The case will now be heard June 17.

The girl's body was found hanging from a tree inside the Nighasan police station in Lakhimpur Kheri district, about 200 km from here, June 10. The death was initially dismissed by police as suicide after a first autopsy, but a second autopsy confirmed the girl was strangled.

The case has sparked off vehement criticism of the state administration, which critics say has failed to curb growing crime in the state, particularly against women.  But, claiming the Crime Branch was doing an efficient job, Mayawati said the opposition was trying to gain political mileage from the case.

"Opposition parties should rise above party politics and help the government in arresting the culprits," she said.

"The guilty will be brought to book and none would be spared under any circumstances."

She said "apart from the suspension of 12 policemen, including the district police chief, we have arrested the key accused, while efforts are on to track his two accomplices".

Meanwhile, a doctor who conducted the first autopsy Wednesday blamed police for "misinterpreting" the report.

"We are not at fault. It was a mistake on the part of police as they failed to comprehend our post-mortem report," A.K. Agarwal, one of the three doctors who conducted the first autopsy on the girlt old reporters.

"Police misinterpreted the findings of the report that had no flaw. We were not told to probe the case with a suicide or murder angle. Our post-mortem report mentioned the injuries on the victim's neck and leg," said Agarwal.

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