Relatives of the family waylaid by highway robbers in Greater Noida’s Jewar said the victims were travelling to a private hospital in Bulandshahr with Rs 47,500 in cash to help a pregnant relative when the alleged gang rapes and murder happened.
The robbers allegedly dragged and raped four women in a field for hours and shot dead a 38-year-old male relative trying to save them at an isolated spot off the Yamuna Expressway in Uttar Pradesh’s Gautam Budh Nagar district early on Thursday, police said.
There were eight people in the car. The alleged crime took place nearly a kilometre from the victims’ village, Sowata in Jewar. The robbers snatched the cash with the jewellery the women were wearing.
“The family received information on Wednesday night that the sister of the man was shot was admitted in Garg Hospital and needed an emergency operation for her delivery. Since her family was not able to arrange money for the delivery, the deceased man, his wife, son, elder sister, sister-in-law, nephew, the man driving the car and the driver’s wife decided to travel to Bulandshahr. The driver was a close friend of the family and that’s why he was travelling with them,” said the niece of the victim. She lives in Noida.
The deceased’s younger brother said the group left their house around 1 am in a Maruti Eeco car and were heading towards Bulandshahr when the robbers struck.
“They had hardly covered a kilometre when there was noise from the tyres. When the driver stepped out of the car to check, he found that two tyres had burst. He called the owner of the car and asked for spare tyres when suddenly they were attacked by a group of six men with country-made pistols, knives and iron rods. They fired shots in the air and attacked them with rods,” he said.
The relatives said the perpetrators ignored repeated pleas and requests of the car’s occupants and continued to assault them.
“They forced us to walk in the fields and beat us with rods. Then they began raping the women. When my uncle tried to resist, he was shot dead. They raped all four women repeatedly and took away their jewels. The men’s phones were looted,” said the nephew of the man who shot.
The victims were taken to the district hospital at 11 am for medical examination. Multiple eye-witnesses said they noticed bruise marks on the necks and hands of the women.
However, Dr Renu Agarwal, officiating chief medical superintendent of District Hospital in Noida Sector 30, didn’t share the medical report with the media.
“Based on preliminary reports, we can say there were injuries marks on the hands of two ladies after the alleged miscreants tied their hands,” said Dr Agarwal.
Ram Kumar, IG Meerut said, “We have registered a case of murder, gang rape, abduction and robbery against un identified persons. Several teams have been formed to nab the criminals. We are seeking the help of Uttar Pradesh special task force. The case has been registered on the basis of complaint. The incident took between 1:30am and 2am. The victims told us they were tied with dupattas and the women were taken to fields. It’s a gruesome crime and we are working to solve it.”