iconimg Tuesday, September 01, 2015

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Behrampore, June 20, 2013
Acting on a tip-off, police on Wednesday arrested Hakdar Sheikh, the accused in the alleged rape and murder of a 15-year-old girl in Ranitala. The body of the girl was recovered from a jute field on June 15. She had been missing since June 11. Confirming the arrest, Murshidabad SP Humayun Kabir said that police officers rushed to Siteshnagar in Lalgola on Wednesday morning after they received a tip off that Sheikh was in the area. The accused, who was sleeping in a mango orchard, was arrested.

Earlier, soon after the teenager’s body was recovered, her family had pointed their fingers at Sheikh, who was their neighbour. Subsequently, an FIR was lodged against Sheikh and four others. The SP added, “During interrogation, Hakdar Sheikh confessed that he killed the girl after she repeatedly rejected his advances and proposals of marriage. He admitted that he had strangled her to death but did not rape her.”

Kabir also said that it is clear that Sheikh acted alone and did not have an accomplice. So, no murder case would be initiated against the other four persons named in the FIR. “We are hopeful that we can frame a charge sheet against Sheikh within the next 15 days,” he added.

A senior officer of the district police said that Sheikh liked the victim and had even proposed to her several times. But the girl repeatedly rejected his advances. The victim, who used to study in Kolhan High School, however, fancied another youth, Saidul Sheikh. But he did not return her feelings. The officer also said that Sheikh had even presented the victim with a mobile phone and she accepted the gift. But this did not help him win her. An angry Sheikh called the teenager from Saidul’s mobile phone on June 11 and asked her to meet him at a jute field near her house. The girl and Sheikh argued and things got out of hand. Sheikh then strangled the girl with her dupatta.

One of the girl’s brothers said, “We are happy that Sheikh has been arrested. We want him to get the death penalty.”