In the wee hours of 28 May 2014, two girls aged 14 and 15 were found hanging from a branch of a mango tree in Katra Sadatganj village.
In the wee hours of 28 May 2014, two girls aged 14 and 15 were found hanging from a branch of a mango tree in Katra Sadatganj village. (Photo: Kamran Akhter/The Quint
  • 1. Incident As Initially Reported
  • 2. SIT Investigation: Accused Confessed To Murder & Rape
  • 3. CBI Probe: The Girls Killed Themselves
  • 4. The Caste Angle
  • 5. Reading Between The Lines
5 Yrs On, Case of Badaun Girls Found Hanging From Tree Still Murky

In his next outing, Ayushmann Khurrana’s Article 15 will take on India’s deep-seated caste system. The film – set to release on 28 June – is based on the alleged 2014 gang-rape and murder case involving two teenaged girls in Uttar Pradesh’s Badaun district.

While the trailer showcases the horrific nature of the 2014 crime, the real story is much more complicated. At every step of the investigation by the authorities in charge – the Special Investigation Team (SIT) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) – the case only turned murkier.

So, what exactly happened? Five years on, with the accused out on bail and no justice delivered, here’s what transpired.

  • 1. Incident As Initially Reported

    In the wee hours of 28 May 2014, two girls aged 14 and 15 were found hanging from a branch of a mango tree in Katra Sadatganj village. The two cousins had gone missing the previous evening when they had gone in the fields to relieve themselves.

    When they didn’t return late into the night, their families began searching. Early the next day, the girls were found hanging from a tree.

    The accounts of events that transpired while the search was on and how the police got involved vary drastically, casting doubt over the entire investigation.

    Various Versions of the Same Story

    • According to some reports, the father of the one of the victims and uncle of the other, Sohan Lal, said he went to the police station around midnight, begging for help to look for the two girls. But, he said, the two police officers on duty mocked him and did not register an FIR.
    • Another version claims that Babu Ram, a family relative and prime witness in the case, had seen the girls with the main accused, Pappu Yadav, who held them at gunpoint. Babu Ram then apparently ran to alert the family about the abduction, after which they approached the police.
    • A third version suggests that the family went to Pappu Yadav’s house where he had admitted to abducting the girls, but he refused to release them. Helpless, the family then approached the police who initially told them that their girls will return home in two hours. After two hours, when the family went back to the station, one of the police officials said that their daughter might be hanging from a tree.

    Also Read : Alwar Gang Rape: Raj Govt Takes Action Against Cops for Negligence

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