ALIGARH: Hindutva leader Sadhvi Prachi was Sunday denied permission to visit Tappal township here which was rocked by the murder of a toddler, a senior police official said.
The police also used mild force to disperse an angry crowd gathered here to demand justice for the two-and-a-half-year-old girl, who was reportedly strangulated to death after her father failed to repay a loan of Rs 10,000, he said.
Four persons have so far been arrested in the case, police said. Senior Superintendent of Police Akash Kulhari said security has been tightened at Tappal as a precautionary measure.
"Police denied permission to Hindutva leader Sadhvi Prachi to visit Tappal on Sunday. She was stopped at the border in view of the prevailing situation at Tappal," he told PTI.
The officer said police will deal with a heavy hand any attempt to disturb peace in the area.
The police had on Saturday evening thwarted an attempt by some protestors, carrying effigies of the accused, from entering the locality housing the families of the accused and the victim.
The body of the girl was found in a garbage dump on June 2, three days after she was reported missing.
The girl's father had alleged she was killed because he failed to repay Rs 10,000 taken as loan from the accused. A case was registered against the main accused identified as Zahid (27). He was arrested on June 4. Shagufta (32) and Mehndi Hasan, the wife and brother of Zahid, were arrested on June 8.
Police had also arrested Aslam, 43, on June 4. He was earlier charged under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) in 2014 and 2017.
He also faced charges under Uttar Pradesh's Goonda Act. Meanwhile, reports said family members of the accused have abandoned their houses after the incident came to the fore.
They said other families in the neighbourhood belonging to the minority community have also moved out fearing for their lives.
SSP Kulhari, however, rejected such reports. He said reports of migration from the region were without any substance.
Tension had prevailed in the area after the victim's family alleged that police officials delayed the registration of their complaint and the investigation.
Five policemen have been suspended for negligence and Kulhari on Friday assured locals that justice would be done in the case.
The SSP reiterated that the postmortem examination by a panel of three doctors found "no evidence of sexual assault", but police were taking no chances and forensic experts were examining vaginal swabs for any further evidence.
The incident has triggered massive outrage. Political leaders and celebrities have also tweeted their anger and disgust over the crime.
Candlelight protests over the murder were held in Aligarh city. Teachers and students at Aligarh Muslim University have demanded "exemplary and prompt" punishment for the perpetrators.