Unnao: There is a steady stream of visitors in Hindupur village, located about 50 kilometres south of the Unnao district headquarters in Uttar Pradesh.
Visits by politicians have not stopped since Saturday and a heavy deployment of police is visible in the village, particularly around the house of the rape victim who was set ablaze on Thursday by the rape accused.
The victim died on Friday night and was buried outside the village on Sunday.
The house is made of mud and has a thatched roof. Her father sits outside with a blank look.
When asked about the incident, he said, “Most of the time I used to go to the bus station to see her off when she went to Rae Bareli in connection with the case. I regret that on Thursday she went alone and was set ablaze.”
The girl had left her home at 4am to take the 5am passenger train to Rae Bareli for her court hearing.
The victim’s sister-in-law said that the victim was ‘strong and courageous’ and would often go alone to court or other places.
“She was the strongest among five sisters and two brothers and we all looked up to her,” she said.
It is said that the victim had married the main accused Shivam Trivedi in court but the two fell apart when the accused refused to accept the same.
“We did not know about the marriage. It was when the family of the accused, Shivam, came here and beat us up, that we came to know about the court marriage. The girl then decided to file a case against the boy,” the sister-in-law said.
About 600 metres from the victim’s house, is the house of the main accused Shivam Trivedi and other accused.
A strong contingent of police has been deployed here too but there are no visitors here.
Family members of the accused insist that they have been falsely implicated.
Shanti Devi, the village pradhan, and mother of another accused Shubham Trivedi, said, “My son was not involved in the incident.”
She claims that there is a political conspiracy against her and her family.
She further said, “The police came to my house on Thursday and took away my son and my husband. Three other boys were also picked up. We later came to know that they have been accused of setting the girl on fire. All of them were sleeping in the house when the incident reportedly took place.”
She pointed out that when the police came to arrest them, all five were in their houses. “Would they have stayed in their houses if they had committed the crime?” she asked.
Shanti Devi demanded a CBI inquiry into the case and security for the families of the accused. “Who knows, we may be lynched,” she said.
The women family members of the accused men said that if a CBI probe was not ordered into the case, they would immolate themselves.
Shanti Devi, however, admits that the main accused Shivam was sent to jail on an FIR lodged against him by the victim in March this year. He was released on November 30 on bail.
The village head said that none of the five accused had any criminal background.
IG (law and order) Praveen Kumar said, “The five accused persons have been arrested on the statement given by the victim. We will carry out further investigations in the case.”