The Uttar Pradesh Police on Saturday said one of the accused booked in the murder of a two-and-a-half-year-old girl in Aligarh is allegedly a sex offender who has targeted minors in the past, the police confirmed, according to PTI. The police has arrested two more accused in connection with the crime.
On Tuesday, Zahid and Aslam, residents of Tappal town, had been arrested for allegedly killing the girl over a money dispute with her father. The wife and brother of one of the accused, Zahid, were arrested on Saturday. The two have been identified as Mehdi Hasan and Sabusta. The total number of arrests in the case is now four.
Aslam was charged under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act in 2014 and 2017 and was also facing charges under Uttar Pradesh’s Goonda Act, PTI reported. One of the POCSO cases involved the abduction of a minor in Delhi’s Gokulpuri area.
While two different cases of POCSO are already pending against the repeat offender, he had gone to jail in connection with the case in Gokulpuri, Aligarh Senior Superintendent of Police Akash Kulhari told PTI. He added that one of the accused is a history-sheeter.
The police is checking phone records of all the suspects. “The police are in the process of building a water-tight case against the accused so that it stands all legal scrutiny and speedy justice is delivered through a fast-track court,” the news agency quoted Kulhari as saying. “We are checking phone records of all suspects to trace the crime trail.”
He also warned people that strong action would be taken against those who spread rumours on social media.
Aligarh District Magistrate Chandra Bhushan Singh ordered a magisterial inquiry into the child’s death, reported Hindustan Times. “A magisterial inquiry has been ordered on Saturday and will be conducted by the additional district magistrate who will submit his report at the earliest,” Singh said.
The district magistrate said security arrangements have been made in Tappal town to maintain security and those spreading rumours on social media will be “seriously dealt with”.
The incident triggered protests in the city as teachers and students at Aligarh Muslim University demanded “exemplary and prompt” punishment for the accused. Kulhari reiterated that the postmortem report did not show any sign of sexual assault.
“As of now sexual assault is not ruled out. Vaginal swabs have been sent for forensic examination,” Assistant Deputy General (Law and Order) Anand Kumar had said on Friday.
The girl was allegedly kidnapped on May 31 and a first information report was filed at the Tappal police station in Aligarh district on the same day. The child’s body was found on June 2 in a garbage dump. Police had, on Friday, decided to book Zahid and Aslam under the National Security Act.
Police have also said that the murder had no communal angle. The child’s father has demanded that the case be investigated by the Central Bureau of Intelligence.