An eight-year-old girl was allegedly sexually assaulted by an Armyman at a cantonment on the outskirts of Madhya Pradesh’s capital, police said on Saturday, the second incident in a week involving defence personnel in the state.
Police said that the alleged sexual assault took place on Friday at the Army cantonment at Bairagarh which houses the 3 Electronics and Mechanical Engineering Corps (3EME Centre).
Police, however, added that the identity of the accused is yet to be established.
The rape survivor is also the daughter of an Army subedar posted at the centre.
According to police sources, the victim, a class-4 student, was playing with a 10-year-old girl when the accused, who was in uniform, allegedly sought help from them to locate a grocery shop. He requested one of the girls to accompany him to the grocery shop as he was new in the locality. It was the younger girl who went with him on his two-wheeler.
Police said that the accused took the victim to an abandoned house and assaulted her before trying to strangulate her.
The fellow girl, in the meantime arrived at the grocery shop to check why her friend had not returned and was alerted by the victim’s screams for help.
Police said when the girl rushed to the abandoned house, the accused fled from the scene.
Later the survivor narrated the ordeal to her parents, who approached senior army officers and informed them about the incident.
Police said that as news of the attack spread, a group of armed armymen carried out a search operation at several houses to trace the accused, but later called it off on orders from senior army officers.
“According to information provided by the victim, the accused is a lance nayak rank official. The girl has seen the accused and she could identify him as she told us. We have asked senior officers not to allow any of the armymen to go out of campus,” said Arvind Saxena, superintendent of police, North.
The incident came barely a few days after a group of Armymen from the Mhow cantonment attacked police personnel in Indore after two of their colleagues were picked. The Armymen allegedly ransacked a police station.