Uttar Pradesh Police chief Hitesh Chandra Awasthi on Thursday said, there were no injury marks on the bodies of the two teenage girls found dead in Unnao and the cause of their death could not be ascertained in postmortem.
The third one, admitted in a critical condition to a Kanpur hospital, was being treated for suspected poisoning and is at present on a ventilator, sources in the Regency Hospital in Kanpur said.
"The postmortem of the two girls was done by a panel of doctors and no injury before death or external injuries were found on their bodies. The cause of death could not be ascertained and viscera has been preserved for chemical analysis. We are taking help of forensic experts and looking into all possibilities," director-general of police (DGP) Awasthi said.
A medical bulletin issued by the Kanpur hospital treating the third girl has noted it is a suspected case of poisoning, the police chief said.
A panel of three doctors on Thursday performed the autopsy of the two Dalit girls who were found dead in a field in Uttar Pradesh's Unnao district, police said
The Opposition demanded a high-level inquiry into the incident, while Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath took a serious note and sought a detailed report from the DGP.
Adityanath has directed officials to ensure proper treatment of the teenager admitted in Kanpur hospital on government expenses, according to a spokesperson.
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Unnao Superintendent of Police Anand Kulkarni said there was a contradiction in the statements of the mother and brother of the girls and investigations were on.
The three girls, aged 15, 14, and 16; were found tied in a field in Babuhara village in Asoha, around 36 km south of Lucknow, on Wednesday evening by the villagers when they did not return after they left their house to take fodder for the cattle, police had said.
The villagers informed the police and rushed the girls to the hospital, where two of them were declared brought dead, while the other was rushed to the Unnao hospital and later referred to Kanpur hospital, they said.
"Our investigation has found that bodies had no marks on them either in the hands or legs, suggesting that they were not tied, the SP said.
Asked if an FIR had been lodged in this connection, the SP said the matter was being investigated and action would be taken as per the post mortem report, which was conducted by a panel of three doctors and videographed.
He added that the family members who were the first ones to reach the spot were being questioned.
According to Kulkarni, the girl's brother had said the girls were tied with a 'dupatta' (stole), while her mother said on Thursday that it was around her neck.
On speculation that it was a case of honour killing, the SP said all aspects would be included in the probe and it would not be right to say anything on it at the moment.
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Thursday alleged that the Uttar Pradesh government was not only suppressing the Dalit society but also crushing the honour and human rights of women in the state.
"The UP government is not only crushing Dalit society, but also the honour and human rights of women. But they should remember that I and the entire Congress party will stand as the voice of victims and will endeavour to get them justice," she said in a tweet in Hindi.
BSP chief Mayawati expressed condolences to the affected family, describing the incident as "very serious and sad".
"The BSP demands a high-level inquiry into the incident and strict punishment for the culprits," Mayawati tweeted.
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Samajwadi Party MLC Sunil Singh Sajan has alleged that the Unnao police was trying to hush up the case. He has sought a probe by an independent agency in the matter.
(With PTI inputs)