The five-year-old daughter of a priest was allegedly raped and then murdered at an under-construction building in Indirapuram, police said on Saturday, sparking tension in the area and prompting heavy deployment of police.
Police are also looking for a 19-year-old man who people said was last seen offering water to the minor near the under-construction house where she was later found dead..
The priest hails from Gorakhpur, the constituency of Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath. The girl was cremated on Saturday morning.
“Prima facie, we suspect that there was sexual assault. There were four injuries found over her body and the post-mortem report indicates death due to strangulation. The slide-test report is awaited. Five teams are trying to locate the accused who is absconding,” said Deepak Kumar, senior superintendent of police, Ghaziabad.
Officials said that they have detained the accused’s father and other relatives to inquire about his possible hideouts.
Kumar said they have added sections of murder, attempted rape and provisions of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act to the investigation initiated as per original FIR. The youth was also named as accused in the original FIR lodged under sections of abduction at Indirapuram police station.
Angry people demanded that the suspect be handed over to them for punishment.
The girl was cremated on Saturday morning . “We know that people here are agitated and bringing her body could have triggered tension that could have led to some untoward incident. So, we performed her last rites immediately after the post-mortem,” victim’s father said.
The girl was the eldest among four siblings and was about to be admitted to pre-school.
According to the victim’s father, the girl was playing outside her house around 1pm when she went missing and could not be traced despite repeated search. He accused the 19-year-old, who reportedly arrived in the area from Bihar 10 days ago, of abducting the girl. He said the suspect fled the spot despite being asked not to go anywhere.
Though police too joined the search, the body was discovered by some neighbours on the first floor of an under-construction house at around 11.30pm.
“She was bleeding from the nostrils and had marks of injury over her neck. Her clothes were (also) not in proper order,” the distraught father said.
Meanwhile, Hindu Raksha Dal members visited the victim’s family and handed over a memorandum to the district magistrate for immediate arrest of the accused within 24 hours and also a compensation for the family.