Lucknow : Four members of a Dalit family were found dead in a village in Uttar Pradesh’s Hardoi district taking the toll in murders there to 24 in the past 24 days. Police Thursday said all the four victims have been strangled to death.
“The tenant, Vijay Pratap Singh was arrested Wednesday night,” Superintendent of Police Navneet Rana told IANS on telephone Thursday.
The victims, a widow, her mother-in-law and her two minor children, were found dead Wednesday inside their house in Sandi town of Hardoi, 110 km from the state capital Lucknow.
Though the exact reason behind the killings is yet to be ascertained, police believe Vijay killed the family. “He is being interrogated”, Rana added.
“Vijay Pratap was living as tenant in the house for the last two years. Pratap had a heated argument with the family Tuesday over the payment of rent,” said Rana.
According to police records, this was the 24th murder incident in this suburban district of the state in the past 24 days.
Five members of a Brahmin family were axed to death May 31. The lone surviving member of the family, 11-year-old Shivam Shukla, is still undergoing treatment in the Chhatrapati Sahuji Maharaj Medical University Hospital in Lucknow.
The case is still unsolved. A.K.Jain, an inspector general of the Lucknow Zone said: “We will arrest the killer soon”.
Similarly, killings took place on June 1, June 3, June 5, 9, 12, 15, 17, 19, 20 and 23. According to police records, the dead included 13 men and six women, besides five minors.
“We have been able to arrest the accused in most of these crimes and the rest of the cases are being followed up rigorously by us. We are also very close to cracking the Shukla family massacre”, Jain said.
Meanwhile, Director General of Police Vikram Singh, who reached Hardoi later Wednesday evening said that the Special Task Force had been roped in to crack unsolved murder cases in the district.
“The increasing crime figures of the district are alarming and we will take all the necessary steps to curb this. The station officers and personnel of the police stations in the district will be given a free hand to solve the cases and nail down the criminals,” Singh said.