Rape victim killed on way to court

A teen, allegedly raped by a self-styled godman, was shot dead in Uttar Pradesh's Mathura town, about 450 kilometres from here, while on her way to the court to attend the hearing with her mother.

The incident occurred on Thursday when four motor cycle borne assailants sprayed the teen and her mother with bullets near a college in the town. While the rape victim died on the spot, the mother sustained serious injuries and was battling for life at a hospital in Agra, reports said.

The mother of the teen had lodged a complaint with the police in July last year accusing Swami Govindananda Teerth, a resident of Vrindavan (a religious town near Mathura) of raping her daughter. 

A case had been registered later on the orders of the court. The police had recently filed a final report in the matter with the court. The mother had filed a revision application in the court, which had fixed Thursday for hearing the matter.

The family members of the teen had lodged a complaint against three people, including Govindananda, in this connection. Reports said that the teen and her family had been receiving threats after the registration of the case.

The cops conducted a series of raids in Vrindavan on Thursday and Friday and nabbed the manager of Govindananda's ashram Narendra Srivastava. 

“Srivastava is being interrogated,” police officials said.

Police said the involvement of the godman in the killing could not be ruled out. They said the killing seemed like a pre-planned operation with an intention to silence the victim.

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