Six police officials were suspended on Sunday for their alleged inaction in a case involving the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Madhya Pradesh, India Today reported. The child’s body was found near a drain in Bhopal’s Kamla Nagar on Sunday morning.
The police said preliminary investigation has shown that the girl died of strangulation after being raped. The child had gone to a shop around 8 pm on Saturday. When she did not return home, her family approached the police.
The girl’s father alleged that the police initially did not file a complaint. “Some police personnel came to my house at about 11 am after intervention of the local corporator and only then a report was lodged,” he said, according to the Hindustan Times. The child’s uncle claimed that the police told them to go back home and that the girl would come home on her own or “she might have eloped” with someone. “How could a 10-year-old girl elope,” the uncle asked.
“Six policemen have been suspended,” Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Bala Bachchan told India Today. “Stringent action will be taken. No one will be spared. The accused lives in the neighbourhood.” Minister for Public Relations PC Sharma said a high-level inquiry will be conducted.
Former Home Minister and BJP leader Uma Shankar Gupta claimed that the girl could have been saved if the police had acted swiftly.
Inspector General (Bhopal Zone) Yogesh Deshmukh told PTI: “The police searched for her in the night. Her body was found around 5 am today.” Additional Superintendent of Police Akhil Patel said they were waiting for a detailed report but that they have identified an accused and have begun a search for him.