|Lucknow, Aug. 9: A BJP leader's son murdered a 17-year-old schoolgirl by repeatedly slashing her throat on a busy road in Uttar Pradesh in front of at least 50 people, her sister has said.|
The alleged assailant was on the radar of the now-disbanded "anti-Romeo" squad in Uttar Pradesh five months ago for stalking the same girl but had been let off with a warning, her father said.
Ragini Dubey, who was on her way to school along with her younger sister yesterday morning, was declared dead on arrival at a health centre in Ballia district, 400km east of Lucknow.
The accused has been identified as Prince Tiwari, the son of local panchayat chief and BJP leader Kripashankar Tiwari. Prince, a Class XII dropout and jobless, has been arrested along with Raju Yadav, an alleged accomplice.
Ragini had spurned Prince's offer to marry her as she disliked him and also wanted to study to become a doctor. However, Prince allegedly continued harassing Ragini for the past four months.
Ragini and her sister Siya were cycling to Sanskar Bharati School in Salempur block from their home in Bajahan village yesterday morning when Prince and an associate, Sonu Tiwari, hit the sisters' cycle from behind with their motorbike on the busy Bansdih Road.
"We fell off our cycle. Prince dragged my sister to the middle of the road, took out a knife and kept slashing her throat. There were at least 50 people on the road but none of them came forward to help," Siya, 13, said.
Ragini's father, farmer Jitendra Dubey, has named Prince, Kripashankar, Sonu and Prince's friends Niraj Tiwari and Raju in the FIR. While Prince and Sonu, who were identified by Siya, are the main accused, the others have been named as accomplices.
"My sister used to dislike Prince. But he and his friends continued harassing her," Siya said.
Jitendra alleged that all the five accused were in the village for several hours after the crime. "Had the police acted fast, all of them could have been arrested," he said.
Vijay Pal Singh, the additional superintendent of police, said search teams had been formed and attempts were being made to arrest the others.
Jitendra, who has five children, said he had complained to Kripashankar about Prince in March but the father took no steps to rein him in. In March, Jitendra had approached policemen who were members of the local anti-Romeo squad.
"The anti-Romeo squad personnel warned Prince to stay off Ragini and let him off. But he continued to stalk and harass my daughter. He wanted to marry Ragini but she had refused. She wanted to continue studying and become a doctor," Jitendra said.