Lucknow : Two Dalit girls, one 13-yr-old & one 16-yr-old, along with a 17-yr-old, were found in a critical condition, on Wednesday, 17 February, in a family’s field in Uttar Pradesh’s Unnao district.

Superintendent of Police Anand Kulkarni, who reached the spot, said that 2 of the girls were declared dead when they arrived at the hospital, & the 17-yr-old is critical & undergoing treatment.

She was taken to Kanpur Regency Hospital where she has been admitted in the ICU. The post-mortem test on the other two girls will be done on Thursday.

All of them were found unconscious by the villagers, who informed that they had not returned after leaving home to bring fodder for the cattle, PTI reported.

Prashant Kumar, UP ADG (Law and Order), said that the girls had left around 3 pm on Wednesday and were found in the evening.

The hands and feet of the girls were tied with their dupatta and they were frothing at the mouth, IANS reported.

However, IG (Lucknow Range) Laxmi Singh told The Indian Express that they were yet to confirm if the girls were tied up. “The brother has given a statement saying this, but we can’t say anything because the bodies were removed before the police reached the spot,” Singh said.

“There was some white substance coming out of their mouth and doctors have said there were symptoms of poisoning. We are recording statements of all the people concerned and an in-depth probe is being conducted. Necessary action is being taken,” SP Kulkarni added, The Indian Express reported

The police are suspecting it to be an instance of poisoning and said that there were no signs of struggle at the site. Moreover, no injury marks were found prima facie on the girls.

According to The Indian Express, ADG (Lucknow Zone) SN Sabat said that there were no signs of struggle at the crime scene and added that the probe will look at “all possible angles”.

Family members have alleged murder, saying that the fact that the girls’ hands and feet were tied up pointed to it not being a case of suicide.

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