A Special Armed Force soldier was arrested on charges of kidnapping and raping a five-year-old girl in Narsinghpur district of Madhya Pradesh, PTI reported on Thursday.
The accused, identified as 24-year-old Santosh Markam, is a soldier of Sixth Battalion of the Special Armed Force. He was posted as a cook in local police lines, Narsinghpur senior police official Gurukaran Singh said. The Special Armed Force is a wing of the state police.
The girl who belonged to a nomadic family went missing on the intervening night of June 24 and June 25 while sleeping out in the open with her mother and sister, Singh said.
She was later found in an unconscious condition at a nearby area. Later, it was alleged that she was raped. The girl is undergoing treatment at a hospital in Jabalpur.
“The jawan was inebriated when he committed the crime,” Singh said. “We closed on him with the help of CCTV footage and after collecting other evidences.”
“The police arrested him from a village in Mandla district and subjected him to interrogation during which he admitted to the crime,” the police official was quoted as saying by the news agency. The accused, a married man, is an alcoholic, the official added.
Another senior police officer Rajesh Tiwari said a case has been registered against the soldier under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act. A local court has sent the accused to jail under judicial custody, Tiwari said.
A head constable was also suspended for dereliction of duty after family members of the girl alleged police negligence in handling the case. “The family has said they reached the local police station at 3 am on June 25, but there was no action on their complaint,” Singh said.
This incident came weeks after an eight-year-old girl, who went missing from a slum in Bhopal, was raped and murdered. The postmortem report had said she was strangulated to death after rape. Six police officials were suspended for their alleged inaction in the matter.