A 7-year-old girl was raped and murdered and her corpse found hanging from a tree in Kaliabazar village of West Bengal on Thursday, bringing back horrific memories of the Badaun murder and rape of two teenage girls.
The girl, was a student of class 2 and had gone out of her house on Wednesday evening, perhaps to go to a neighbourhood shop.
Local people noticed her body hanging from a neem tree the next day and lynched three men suspecting them of the rape. One of the men died in hospital, while the other two are admitted there.
“The father of the girl lodged a complaint at the local police station against three persons,” said East Midnapore Superintendent of Police, Sukesh Kumar Jain. “One of the three accused has already died.”
People went around the village announcing about the girl’s disappearance on loudspeaker, when they found her body. Word spread like wildfire and enraged villagers beat up Ratan Das and two of his associates, and also set fire to Das’ house. Das had been seen with the victim on Wednesday evening.
Meanwhile, the police are also not ruling out a family feud as the reason for the murder.
“We are awaiting the autopsy report to confirm rape,” said a police officer. “There was also some enmity between the families of the girl and the prime accused, Ratan Das.”
On May 29, residents of Karta village in Badaun, Uttar Pradesh, woke up to a similar sight of the bodies of two girls hanging from a tree. The girls, both cousins, were raped before they were hanged.