Days after 17-year-old Ankita’s brutal death at the hands of Shahrukh Hussain, three brothers, Irfan, Irshad, and Israr, have been held for murdering 19-year-old Ankit Gautam. The incident was reported from Padriya Chet Singh village under Ruthauli Police Station, district Basti, Uttar Pradesh, on Friday, August 26.
Ankit, a Hindu youth from the SC community, was allegedly in a relationship with Ameena Khatun, the sister of the three accused. Ameena has also been found dead under mysterious circumstances, and the body of the deceased Hindu boy was located the following day. Basti police arrested the three accused individuals after Ankit’s post-mortem confirmed that he was killed by strangulation.
On the day of the crime, Ankit had left the house after receiving a call from Ameena’s brothers. They had called him for a meeting. But Ankit did not return home till late in the night. Worried by the delay in Ankit’s return, his family members went to Ameena’s house to seek information about him. But they couldn’t get any details on the boy’s whereabouts. Ankit’s elder brother said, “The brothers told us that they had no information about Ankit. We immediately started looking for him. In the wee hours of Saturday, we came to know from the villagers that the girl had died, and the family was burying her dead body in the village.”
Suspecting something sinister had occurred, the family started combing through the area around their house in search of Ankit. They located his body a mere 100 meters from their house. Ankit’s elder brother told that they informed the police immediately after recovering Ankit’s body. Based on the complaint filed by Ankit’s family, Irfan, Irshad, and cousin Israr have been booked for murder (302) and destruction of evidence (201). The SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act has also been invoked against all three.
As opposed to the torching of Ankita that happened in a predominantly Muslim area, this incident took place in a Hindu-dominated locality. This leaves everyone shocked and establishes that Islamist elements are killing Hindu youth, regardless of gender and location, every other day. The religious demography of the area does not seem to matter much, as Islamists continue to target and kill Hindu children.
The Muslim girl had allegedly committed suicide after her brothers killed Ankit and her family tried to complete the burial in haste. On Monday, August 29, police got her exhumed for further investigations. The Indian Express quoted a police official stating that the Muslim girl might have died due to the consumption of poison. “This will be corroborated after receiving the viscera report,” he said.
Ram Krishna Bhardwaj, Inspector General (Basti Range) informed in his statement, “The post-mortem report of the 19-year-old Dalit youth stated that he died of throttling. No other injury mark except the strangulation mark was found on the youth’s body. The cause of the girl’s death could not be ascertained in the autopsy. There was no injury mark on her body. Her viscera have been preserved and will be sent to a laboratory for examination.”
Deependra Nath Chaudhary, the Additional Superintendent of Police (Basti) informed, “The three have confessed to killing the youth… During questioning, they told us that they killed the Dalit youth after they found him with their sister in the house. After killing him, they dragged his body to a nearby field.”