At a time when horrific memories of brutal gangrape of a 8-year-old girl in J&K’s Kathua are still fresh, India has woken up to another bestial act of sexual violence against a child. This time in Madhya Pradesh.
On Tuesday, just like any other school day, the 8-year-old victim from Madhya Pradesh’s Mandsaur was waiting for her father to pick her up after the school.
According to police, the child was led by a local man to a secluded place and gangraped. The accused then slit the throat of the child and left her for dead. Reports said the accused severely injured her face and private parts.
When the girl didn’t return home by the evening, her family approached the school but didn’t get any information on her whereabouts. The victim’s family has alleged that the school was uncooperative when they asked the authorities about their child.
Next day, according to a report in The Indian Express, a neighbourhood boy found the victim walking around dazed and alerted a man passing by, who in turn approached police. The girl was immediately admitted in a hospital in critical condition.
Over the days, the child’s condition has improved but doctors say the child has suffered severe mental trauma.
“The girl is responding to treatment and getting better. But she is mentally disturbed due to the incident,” Dr Sharad Thora of Indore’s MY Hospital, where the girl is hospitalized, told Hindustan Times.
Accused behind the bars
Within 24 hours of the crime, police nabbed one of the accused Irfan, 20, on the basis of CCTV footage. The footage shows Irfan, a labourer, taking the girl with him after the school hours.
The HT report said Irfan has a criminal record and is an alcoholic. He has been booked for kidnapping and rape and also under sections of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.Another accused Asif, 24, was also arrested for the crime.
According to an another Indian Express report, both accused were involved in luring the girl to a secluded area. The accused offered the girl some sweets and told her they would take her to her father, who was waiting some distance away. During the investigations, police also collected clothes stained with blood and semen from Irfan’s and Asif’s houses.
The victim’s family has demanded death penalty for the accused.
Muslim community boycott Irfan & Asif
As soon as the news of the 8-year-old girl’s gangrape spread across the region, spontaneous protests broke out various parts of the state. Since the victim and accused belong to two different religious communities, police had to remain extra vigilant to avoid any untoward incident.
Members of Muslim community in the region took out a protest rally against the accused.
Yunus Sheikh, Mandsaur unit president of Anjuman Islam, a Muslim organization, condemned the rape and demanded death penalty for Irfan. During the protest, the community also decided to not allow space of burial of the accused once they are sentenced to death.
While the victim is recovering at the hospital, MP police has constituted a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the incident. City superintendent of police Rakesh Mohan Shukla, who will head the SIT, on Sunday said that 70 percent of the investigation had been completed in the case.
The police are now waiting for the survivor to recover in order to record her statement while her mother’s statement had already been recorded, Superintendent of Police (SP) Manoj Kumar Singh told PTI.
Meanwhile, the parents of the victim have asked police to book school authorities for their negligence.
(With inputs from agencies)