Five policemen, including an SHO, have been suspended for alleged negligence, five days after the mutilated body of a three-year-old girl was found in a garbage dump in Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh, triggering a huge public outcry over the brutality of the murder.
The policemen were suspended for alleged delay in registering the case after the girl was reported missing, and also for delaying the probe, which eventually led to the discovery of her body on June 2, officials said.
Tappal police station officials registered the case on May 31, a day after she had gone missing. Two suspects have been arrested, and police say the case is a fallout of a monetary dispute.
The accused, Zahid and Aslam, have confessed to killing the girl after her father failed to return Rs 12,000 he had borrowed from them, police sources said.
Asked about the suspension of police officials, Senior Superintendent of Police, Akash Kulhari told PTI that it was done on Thursday on the basis of the inquiry conducted by circle officer Pankaj Srivastva.
The girl's father, Banwarilal Sharma, had threatened to fast unto death, demanding the arrest of the accused's family members who, he said, "colluded" in the crime. The SSP met him and persuaded him against sitting on fast.
The SSP said he has assured Sharma that justice would be done in the case, and the accused would be tried in a fast-track court.
Proceedings have begun to charge the duo under the National Security Act, Kulhari has said.
A six-member SIT has been formed to investigate the case and a female inspector had been appointed to carry forward the probe, he said.
The minor's brutal killing has led to a huge public condemnation.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi expressed shock over the incident, and wondered how any human being can treat a child so brutally.
"The horrific murder of a little girl in Aligarh, UP has shocked and disturbed me. How can any human being treat a child with such brutality? This terrible crime must not go unpunished. The UP police must act swiftly to bring the killers to justice," he said on Twitter.
His sister and Congress general secretary, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra too condemned the inhuman act.
"The brutal murder in Aligarh is yet another inhuman, unspeakable crime against an innocent child. I cannot even begin to imagine the pain her parents must feel. What has become of us," she asked.
Celebrities too expressed their shock and disgust.
"Horrified, upset and angry to know about baby #TwinkleSharma! This is definitely not the kind of world we want for our children. We need immediate and strictest punishment for such a heinous crime. #JusticeForTwinkle," actor Akhsya Kumar said.
"Just so disgusted and angered hearing about #TwinkleSharma. How can somebody even think of doing such a thing?!?! Speechless….," Abhishek Bachchan tweeted.
The little girl had gone missing from Tappal township on May 30. Her body was found on June 2 in a garbage dump near her house.
"Post-mortem examination has not found any sign of sexual assault. The report confirmed death due to strangulation," police said.
Security measures at Tappal township, 50 km from the district headquarters, have been tightened as a precautionary step after tension prevailed in the area.