LAKHIMPUR KHERI: A man accused of raping and killing a three-year-old girl in Uttar Pradesh's Lakhimpur Kheri was arrested after an encounter with police on Friday, officials said.
Main accused Lekhram sustained a bullet injury in his leg during the gunfight near Bamhanpur village in Nighasan area. He was rushed to Nighasan health centre, where he is undergoing treatment. "His condition is stated to be stable," the official said.
Nighasan DSP Pradeep Kumar Verma, who was in the native village of the girl, confirmed the arrest. The girl's body, which bore injury marks on the head, was recovered from the vicinity of her village in Singahi area on Thursday after she went missing on Wednesday, police said.
This was the third such incident in the district in as many weeks. "The postmortem report has confirmed rape. I am with family members right now. Seven of our teams are working on the case. I am myself going for combing in sugarcane fields and strict action will be taken against the accused. If needed, NSA will also be invoked against the accused," Lakhimpur SP Satyendra Kumar Singh earlier told PTI over phone.
The postmortem report said that the girl died due to strangulation.
In his complaint to police, the girl's father had alleged that Lekhram, a resident of their village, had abducted and killed the child due to an old enmity with his family. A case of murder was lodged against the accused.
Lakhimpur Kheri district was in the news recently when a 17-year-old Dalit girl was found dead outside her village. She was allegedly raped and murdered after she left home to fill a scholarship application. Her mutilated body was found near a dry pond, around 200 metres away from her village falling under the Neemgaon police limits.
Prior to this incident, a 13-year-old girl was raped and killed in the district. Police said the girl had gone to her fields in the afternoon and when she did not return home, her family started looking for her. She was found dead in a sugarcane field.
Both incidents drew flak from the opposition, with Congress and SP leaders attacking the Yogi Adityanath-led state government over the law and order situation.