The Gujarat government on Friday said the state police had arrested three people, including the main accused, for allegedly raping and murdering an 11-year-old girl in Surat. Minister of State for Home Pradeepsinh Jadeja told reporters that the key accused, Harsahay Gurjar, was from Rajasthan.
An officer with the Rajasthan Police, Deepak Ojha, told NDTV that they detained the key accused and handed him over to their Gujarat counterparts.
The Gujarat Police are investigating a possible human trafficking angle after the body of a woman, who was reported missing 20 days ago, was recovered four days after the girl’s body was found on April 6. An investigation has indicated that the woman was the girl’s mother, Jadeja said.
The minister said the government will appoint a public prosecutor and designate a special fasttrack court to hear the case.
The state commission for women on Wednesday sought a status report from the Surat Police, which had earlier announced a Rs 20,000 reward for information to help identify the girl. Besides circulating the message and a photograph of the child on social media, they have also put up 1,200 posters.
The autopsy report suggested the girl was raped and tortured over eight days before being strangled to death. Her body was found at a cricket ground in Surat’s Bhestan locality last week with 86 injuries.
The case comes days after people across the country protested after the police chargesheet in the the rape-and-murder case of an eight-year-old child in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua revealed that she had been was drugged, gang-raped, starved and murdered in January.