Lakhimpur: In a grim reminder of the infamous Badaun incident, a teenage Dalit girl was raped and her body was later found hanging from a tree in Nighasan area of the district, police said on Thursday.
The body of the 16-year-old girl was found hanging from a tree on Tuesday morning near Taparpurwa village in the district, about 130 km from state capital Lucknow, they said.
The incident triggered an angry outburst from leaders of various political parties, who slammed the Samajwadi Party government in Uttar Pradesh, saying that the law and order machinery is "hanging from trees".
Police said that earlier her parents suspected it to be a case of suicide.
However, post mortem examination report received yesterday confirmed that the girl was raped before her death.
Her father then lodged a complaint with Nighasan police, naming two youths of his village for committing the crime.
"A case of rape and murder has been lodged against the two youths -- Manoj and Dharmesh -- on the basis of her father's complaint," Station Incharge Ram Kumar Yadav said.
"Investigation is in progress and the accused would be arrested soon," he said.
In a shocking incident in May last year, two cousins were found hanging from a tree in Badaun district and it was alleged that they were hanged after being raped.
However, CBI later filed a closer report in the case saying that the girls had committed suicide.
Reacting to the latest incident, opposition parties attacked the UP government for the "deteriorating" law and order situation.
"The entire state has turned into a jungle raj. People are feeling insecure...Crime graph has shot up. We wanted to raise the issue in the state Assembly, but the government is avoiding a debate on it," senior BSP leader Swami Prasad Maurya said.
BJP spokesman Vijay Bahadur Pathak said the government made tall promises of security to women, but has failed to fulfil it. All its schemes like 1090 women helpline have failed.
"The law and order machinery is hanging from trees," he remarked, adding women were not safe in UP.
Pathak demanded action against police personnel who did not take cognisance of the incident.
Incidentally, the latest case came to light just a day after the Uttar Pradesh government put up a bold face through the Governor's address to the state legislature on the law and order front, claiming the situation has remained under control and communalism has been dealt with full force.
The government, the address noted, has taken "prompt action for controlling crimes and maintaining law and order. There is rule of law in the state...(government) remained successful in maintaining social harmony."
Congress MLA Akhilesh Pratap Singh said law and order was nowhere visible in UP.
"We raised the issue in the Assembly. It is an unfortunate incident. Criminals do not fear the government or police and people are feeling insecure," he claimed.
Singh said that contrary to the government's claim, there was no improvement in law and order situation.