An earlier protest against the gang rape had seen people block the national highway in Bulandshahr. Photograph: (DNA)
Three more persons, including the main accused in the Bulandshahr gang rape case, have been arrested, taking the total number of those nabbed in connection with the incident to six, a top police officer said on Monday night.
A group of robbers had brutally raped a woman and her 13-year-old daughter at gunpoint after dragging them out of a car in Bulandshahr on NH-91 when they were travelling with their family on July 29.
Declining to give details, the police officer said that all the three accused were picked up by the police during raids.
Among them was the main accused Salim Bawariya, he said, but did not disclose the place from where the arrests were made. These arrests are in addition to three persons picked up earlier.
Director general of Uttar Pradesh Police Javeed Ahmed had earlier said, "The names of other accused are almost clear and efforts are on to arrest them."
Another police official said the three accused were arrested from the city of Meerut, located around 40 miles from Bulandshahr, after a week-long chase.
The arrests come on a day the Allahabad High Court sought within a week an appropriate reply from the Uttar Pradesh government on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking a direction for a CBI probe into the Bulandshahr gangrape case.
Uttar Pradesh Police had earlier arrested - Naresh (25), Bablu (22) and Rais (28) - and detained a dozen others after launching a massive hunt for the bandits suspected to be behind the crime.
Accusing the Samajwadi Party government of "protecting and appeasing" criminals ahead of the Assembly polls slated next year, BJP had asked Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav to seek a CBI probe in the case if he has any "shame" left. Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav said he would order a CBI probe if the family demanded.
A group of highway robbers had gang-raped a woman and her minor daughter on July 29, sparking a public outcry