DEHRADUN: The discovery of the body of a teenager hanging from a tree in a Rotta Khad, 130 km from Dehradun, on Saturday has sent shock waves across the district, bringing back memories of the horrific Badaun incident in which two sisters were found hanging from a tree in May 2014.
It is suspected that the 14-year-old was raped and murdered before her body was hung. Two youths have been detained for questioning.
The 14-year-old girl, who is a Class IX student, had been missing from her house since Friday evening. Family members and locals were horrified to find her body hanging from the tree the next morning in the the jungle area of Rotta Khud.
Inspector Puran Singh, who is probing the case, said, "Prima facie it appears to be a case of rape-cum-murder. However, all facts can be ascertained only after the postmortem report is handed over to us." The body has been sent to Dehradun for the postmortem, which is likely to be carried out on Sunday.
"It looks like that the girl has been strangulated and, thereafter, her body hanged from the tree," Singh said, adding, "Cops probing the incident have maintained that the branch on which the body was hung was 'extremely thin and weak'. There were no other external injury marks visible on the body. Two youths have been taken into custody and are being questioned."
SSP, Dehradun, Sadanand Date said the crime was reported in an area controlled by the revenue police. In parts of Uttarakhand, policing is still done by the revenue police. "However," Date said, "we are also collecting details of the crime and are ready for the probe into the matter."
According to sources, the minor girl was last spotted near her residence in Swara Binjoli area, under Tiuni tehsil, with four youths who were on two-wheelers. When she did not return home, the parents launched a search for her along with some local residents. However, all efforts to trace her went in vain.
Infuriated locals later held a protest on the Tiuni-Vikas Nagar road and demanded immediate arrest of the still-unidentified accused.
Gram pradhan of Amra Jhabrad, Pratap Singh, told TOI, "It is a clear case of rape and murder. Blood was visible around the spot and the branch from which the body was hanging was an extremely weak one. The victim's knees were touching the ground."