Boy Accused of Raping 15-Year-Old Dalit in Jind Found Dead
The body of the main accused in the tragic case of a 15-year-old Dalit girl being brutally raped, beaten and tortured in Haryana last week, was recovered from Bhakra canal near Karnal on Wednesday, CNN-News18 reported.
The boy’s body was found in a decomposed state, and a tattoo on his arm helped his parents identify him, according to PTI. This points to the possibility that he had been dead for a few days.
The accused – 19-year-old student of Class 12 – was allegedly known to the victim and had even spoken to her on the day of the incident according to police records. Till his body was found, the police were considering him the prime suspect in the case, based on the statements made by the victim’s parents.
According to PTI, the victim’s parents had reported their suspicions against him to the police and cited his name in the FIR. The police had later detained the boy’s brother and father, The Indian Express reported.
The minor girl’s body, with her private parts mutilated and liver ruptured, was found near Budhakhera village in Haryana's Jind district.
According to Hindustan Times, the minor went missing on 9 January and her body was found on 12 January.
Earlier, one person had been identified, and several others detained in connection with the incident that took place on 9 January, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar had told ANI.
"The culprit has been identified and I am sure he will soon be nabbed," Khattar had told reporters in Karnal.
According to a report by Hindustan Times, the boy, whose name was withheld by the police on account of them believing he was a minor, lived in the same neighbourhood as the victim.
He was presumably a follower of Sant Ravidas, whose picture had been recovered from the locket around the minor’s neck, says an Indian Express report. He also used to go to the same tuition as the victim, the report adds.
When the victim disappeared on 9 January, her parents allegedly went to the police and told them about their suspicions regarding the boy. They later filed an FIR, that contained his name as one of the prime suspects in the case, reports PTI.
The police had reported that the boy had been missing since 9 December, the day of the incident, reports Indian Express. To act on the family’s complaint, they had even gone and detained the boy’s brother and father, the report adds.
On Wednesday, 10 January, however, his decomposed body was recovered from inside the Bhakhra canal, PTI reports.
The victim’s body, on the other hand, was reportedly sent to Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (PGIMS) in Rohtak, for postmortem. Head of forensics department, Dr SK Dhattarwal told the daily that the girl was sexually assaulted by multiple people.
He also said that the autopsy suggests that the victim had suffered several other internal injuries, which was possibly due to the fact that the offenders had inserted a hard and blunt foreign object inside her private parts, the report adds.
Dattarwal told The Indian Express that from the looks of it, the victim had attempted to struggle a lot to escape the rapists. He added that according to his estimate she had been killed two or three days before her body had been recovered by the authorities.
According to the forensics expert, the offenders had drowned her after the assault and then thrown her body off a cliff, The Indian Express reported. The forensic team has sought the report of the crime scene before they put forth their final report on the cause of her death, the report stated.
According to Hindustan Times, Dhattarwal had also suggested that the victim’s offenders may have sexually assaulted her after they had killed her.
While the police had acted upon the doctor’s statement and started their hunt for multiple persons, the discovery of the boy’s decomposed body – especially since he was their prime suspect in the case – complicated matters. The question of how the victim reached 100 km away from her home in Jind, was the greatest puzzle, reports PTI.
Victim Was a Bright Student Who Wanted to Become a Doctor
The victim was reportedly the elder of two siblings, born to a tailor, says The Hindu. The father of the victim spoke to ANI and said that the family demands justice.
The father also alleged that he had gone to the police station to file a missing persons report on 9 January itself. He had allegedly put down the boy’s name in the FIR, who he believed was the prime suspect in his daughter’s disappearance.
According to CNN-News18, the police had refused to file an FIR at the time.
“Why did the police take three days to find our daughter? Had the police acted on our complaint quickly, our daughter may have been alive,” the father had also told Hindustan Times.
Politicians too were quick to distribute the blame. No sooner had the body of the accused been found, BJP leader Raman Malik told CNN-News18 that the previous government was “responsible” for the “collapse in law and order”.
DGP B S Sandhu had meanwhile confirmed that the SHO of the police station, Rampal, has been suspended, The Indian Express report.
The police had also later registered an FIR under section 302 of the IPC against unknown persons at the Safidon police station, and had even reportedly constituted two Special Investigation Teams to probe the incident.
The victim’s family has made several statements to reporters regarding their daughter and their demand for justice.
"She was a bright student. She wanted to become a doctor. Her uncle was also helping her to realise her aim. He was sure that she will become a doctor or some high-ranking officer," the girl's father told reporters.
The victim's mother said her daughter never used to hurt anyone.
"Even beasts will not be this cruel. Those who gave so much pain to my daughter and killed her in this manner, are much worse than that," she said.
Some of the victim's teachers recalled that she was a bright student whose conduct in the school was quite good.
The victim’s family was visited by Krishan Kumar Bedi, Minister of State for Welfare of Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes and Namrata Gaur, member of Haryana State Commission for Women, on Monday.
(With inputs from PTI, The Times of India, The Indian Express and Hindustan Times.)