A scrap dealer was killed and his mother, wife, sister and sister-in-law raped by a group of armed men who waylaid their car and also looted the family, near Jewar on the Yamuna Expressway in Uttar Pradesh early on Thursday, police said.
The incident occurred some 60 km from here on Jewar at around 1.30 a.m. Eight members, including four women, of a Greater Noida-based family were headed to Bulandshahr to visit an ailing relative in a hospital there.
According to the victims, six armed men forced the car, an Eeco van, to stop by shooting at its tyres near Sabota village in Jewar.
The armed men took turns to rape the women at the gun point in a nearby field.
When scrap dealer Shakeel Qureshi, 40, put up a resistance, the men shot him dead. The victims were also looted of their valuables, mobile phones and Rs 47,000 cash, police said.
The Uttar Pradesh government has handed over the probe in the matter to the Special Task Force (STF) of UP Police.
"They raped the women and tied up the three other persons, including the driver, in the Eeco van. They escaped into a forested area after they saw a police vehicle moving on the road," Shafiq, one of the victims, said.
"We have constituted teams, including four teams of Special Task Force (STF) of Uttar Pradesh police to nab the accused persons. The women have been sent for medical examination. The teams are trying to identify the accused," Senior Superintendent of Police-Gautambudh Nagar, Love Kumar told IANS.
The officer said, the men first threw nails on the road but when it did not puncture the car tyres, they fired a bullet at the tyres.
A police officer said they are trying to make sketches of the accused. Due to the darkness, the victims managed to see the faces of only two of the accused clearly.
A massive hunt has been launched in the forest area where the accused escaped.
Police registered a case of dacoity with murder (396) and gang rape (376D) under IPC sections.
A similar incident had triggered protests in July 2016 when a mother and daughter were gang-raped in Bulandshar. Opposition parties, including the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), had then accused the ruling Samajwadi Party (SP) of completely failing to protect the honour of women and ensuring the safety and security of people.
This time the ruling BJP spokesman and leaders are silent and trying to duck questions on the spiralling crime and failing law and order in the state in just two months of its rule.