The Rajasthan Police on Monday arrested a 40-year-old man for allegedly raping, and murdering a six-year-old girl in Tonk district, PTI reported. The man, identified as Mahendra alias Dholu, is a truck driver.
“The accused, an acquaint to the victim, feared that the girl would narrate this to her parents and would reveal his identity therefore he murdered her,” said Superintendent of Police Adarsh Sidhu. “He has been arrested and being interrogated further.”
The child had gone missing on Saturday, and her body was found the next day near Khedli village in Aligarh town, the Hindustan Times reported on Monday.
“The victim was studying in Class 1 in a government school,” Aligarh Station House Officer Ram Krishan said. “On Saturday, she was in school till 3 pm as there was a cultural function. After that, she didn’t reach home. Her parents searched for her but they were unable to find her.”
Preliminary investigation suggested that the girl was raped and then strangled to death with the school belt that she was wearing, Krishan added. Some locals found her body among bushes in a remote area in Aligarh and then informed the police.
The police alleged that the girl’s family did not report her missing on Saturday. “The girl used to live with her four maternal uncles,” Tonk Additional Superintendent of Police Vipin Sharma said. “All of them lived in nearby houses. Family members told us that they thought that she would be in a nearby house and must be sleeping there, that’s why they didn’t lodge any missing persons report.”
The police have filed a first information report under relevant sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act and the Indian Penal Code. Officials said Mahendra was caught on the basis of evidence from the crime scene.
The incident comes amid increasing calls for better rules and policing to ensure the safety of women. Last week, a veterinary surgeon was murdered after allegedly being raped near Hyderabad. Her charred body was found on Thursday, triggering protests. A 25-year-old law student was abducting and raped in Ranchi earlier last week, and in Delhi, a 55-year-old woman was allegedly raped and strangled in Gulabi Bagh area on Saturday.
Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Sunday said the accused would not be spared. “The rape and murder of the minor girl is highly condemnable and shameful,” he added.