In a shocking incident, the decomposed body of a six-year-old girl, who had been missing since January 12, was found buried under debris on a vacant plot of Ekta Colony at Gehlewal village in Basti Jodhewal area on Monday.
The victim was the daughter of a hosiery factory worker, who is a resident of Street No. 2 of Basti Jodhewal area.
According to the police, there were finger marks on the victim's neck, confirming strangulation, and her face had been bludgeoned, due to which the left side of the face was severely damaged.
The police suspect that the child was raped before being murdered.
The body was noticed by a passer-by, who had gone to the plot to relieve himself on Monday morning. According to the passer-by, he noticed a child's arm amid the bricks and stones on the plot and sounded the police. The police dug up the area to recover the girl's half-naked body.
They spread information about the recovery of a child's body, following which a man, whose daughter had been missing since January 12, came forward and identified her as his daughter. Empty bottles of liquor, toffees and syringes were recovered from the spot.
The Basti Jodhewal police sent the body to civil hospital for autopsy and registered a case against unidentified persons.
The police said as the body was decomposed, they suspected that the girl was killed on January 12 or 13. The police are awaiting the autopsy report to confirm rape.
The police suspect that the accused had lured the victim with toffees, and had consumed liquor during the crime.
Inspector Balwinder Singh said the police had initiated investigation after registering a case against unidentified persons.
According to the uncle of the victim, the girl was playing outside her house on January 12 when she went missing under mysterious circumstances. He said after they had no success finding her on their own, they filed a missing report with the Salem Tabri police station.
A victim of child prostitution?
Speculations are running high since the recovery of the girl's body. The girl's relatives claim that someone in their locality had seen the girl with a rag-picker on January 12.
A neighbour of the victim, said a mini-truck driver had approached them and claimed that he had seen a rag-picker carrying a girl. The driver had also claimed that the woman was trying to sell the girl to a man of Cheema Chowk area.
The driver had claimed that he knew the whereabouts of the man who the woman had contacted, but had not approached the family since.
The victim's uncle said he had shared this information with the Salem Tabri police on January 13.
NK Sharma, additional deputy commissioner of police (City 4), under whom the Basti Jodhewal area falls, said the victim's family might have shared the rag-picker's information with the Salem Tabri police station, but they had not been intimated.