Two months after arresting a 19-year-old man for allegedly raping and murdering a young girl in Nehru Nagar, Kurla, the sessions court on Friday framed charges in the case.
The youngster, who was employed with a local cable operator, was arrested on July 1 on charges of raping and murdering an eight-year-old, who had gone missing from her house on June 5.
She was the third victim in a series of rape and murder crimes against young girls in Nehru Nagar, starting February.
“The court has framed charges under section 302 [murder], 364 [kidnapping with intent to murder] and 376(2)(f) [rape of a girl under 12 years of age] of the Indian Penal Code against him,” Pradeep Gharat, special public prosecutor.
The accused’s advocate, Amin Solkar, said he has pleaded not guilty to the charges and will face trial.
The 19-year-old was arrested 11 days after the eight-year-old girl’s body was found in a vacant shanty at Nehru Nagar’s Vatsalatai Nagar slums on June 19. The body was found after neighbours complained of a foul smell.
The medical report confirmed she had been raped, and the police said his DNA sample matched that on the victim’s body as well as samples obtained from the crime scene.
On August 13, the police filed a 325-page charge sheet against the accused, which consisted of statements from 45 witnesses, medical and forensic reports and the DNA test report.
The police have not yet found evidence linking the accused to the rape and murder of the other two young girls in Kurla, and investigations are still on.
Another local resident, a 29-year-old, was arrested on March 9, a day after the second rape-murder.
However, he was granted bail after the police failed to file a charge sheet against him in the stipulated 90-day time period.
(The accused has not been named as his involvement in the crime is yet to be proven.)