UP Police make arrests in Sanjali’s murder case; Bhim Army questions findings and asks for CBI inquiry

Sanjali 15 years, was burnt to death

By Aas Mohammed Kaif, TwoCircles.net

In a major breakthrough, the UP Police claimed to have solved the gruesome murder of a Dalit girl who was burnt alive on December 18 in Agra District. The police said one of the deceased’s cousin and two other Dalit boys were responsible for the act and revealed that it had arrested two of the three accused. However, the UP Police announcement has not gone down well with Dalit protesters who believe the announcement was only to stop countrywide protests in support of Sanjali, the girl murdered and put the blame on Dalit community.

Support TwoCircles

The UP Police actions also came into question because the third person accused-Yogesh-was a cousin of Sanjali, was questioned by the Police and released later following which he committed suicide. The Bhim Army supremo rejected the UP Police findings and asked for a CBI inquiry into the matter. He questioned why Yogesh was let free after questioning if he was an accused in the case and said it was the police action that drove Yogesh to suicide.

While the police claims and actions are being questioned, what cannot be questioned is the effect that it had on plans for countrywide protests. According to ground reports, all protests have been cancelled for the time being which can only be seen as a positive for the UP Government.

The family of Sanjali, however, has expressed its dissatisfaction over the police claims. Even though the police claims that Sanjali’s father Harendra Jatav had been informed about the investigation and had met the accused, Harendra said that he was only shown one person under arrest who confessed to the claim. More importantly, he was only shown photographs of the so-called evidence and not the physical proof.

On December 18, the village of Lalau in Agra District was stunned when they found out that Sanjali was burnt alive when she was returning from school. The village, which is populated in equal numbers by Jats and Jatavs, has since seen high caste tensions as a number of Dalits believed it was the work of the Jats. The incident occurred the same day that DGP Police Om Prakash Singh was visiting the district. Following the incident, several people raised doubts over the police in the state.

As a result, the police, which constituted seven teams including three under IPS officers, said they followed the call records of the accused along with CCTV footage.

The other two accused-Akash and Vijay-are also relatives of Yogesh and according to the police, the two were lured into the incident by Yogesh who offered them Rs 15,000 each and it was Yogesh who doused Sanjali with petro before setting her on fire. The police version has of course, did not go down well with Sanjali’s family who are of course, deeply troubled by the family that a brother could have killed his sister. Yogesh’s father, who is the brother of Harendra Jatav, share the same compound in the village.

Following the incident, Bheem Army supremo Chandrashekhar also visited the family and had called for protests but they were postponed following the arrests. UP deputy CM Dinesh Sharma also visited the village and promised a compensation of Rs 5 lakh, which is yet to be delivered.