Out on bail, 21-year-old rape accused sexually assaulted, murdered minor in Delhi’s Nihal Vihar
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Out on bail, 21-year-old rape accused sexually assaulted, murdered minor in Delhi’s Nihal Vihar

The suspected rapist, Rajender, allegedly abducted the minor on Saturday around 8 pm when she had gone to the local market to buy momos.

delhi Updated: Feb 12, 2019 09:04 IST
Shiv Sunny
Shiv Sunny
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
nihal vihar minor's murder case,delhi police,crime
The minor victim’s body was found in outer Delhi’s Nihal Vihar on Sunday, Feb 10, 2019, Less than 12 hours after she went missing from her house.(AP File)

A 21-year-old rape accused, out on bail, was arrested on Monday for raping and killing a seven-year-old girl in outer Delhi’s Nihal Vihar Park area two nights ago, police said. His father was arrested for allegedly helping him dispose the body.

The suspected rapist, Rajender, allegedly abducted the minor on Saturday around 8 pm when she had gone to the local market to buy momos. Police said that the girl was with her younger sister who is speech-impaired.

“Rajender was returning home from one of his friend’s wedding when he spotted the girl. He lured her to his room with chips and snacks,” said an investigator in the case who did not wish to be identified. The girl’s younger sister, meanwhile, had left for home.

Rajender allegedly tied up the girl before raping her. “He used the same ropes to strangle her and later bludgeoned her with a brick to ensure she had died,” said the investigator.

The suspect’s father, 52-year-old Ram Saran, who is a driver with a private firm, returned home around 45 minutes later to discover the crime. “Rajender’s father advised him to wait till midnight. They then carried the body on a scooter and dumped it in the nearby park,” said the investigator.

The girl’s body was found on Sunday, at around 6.30am. “Her legs were folded and tied to her hands. Her neck was also tied with two ropes,” alleged the girl’s aunt who had spotted the body.

Police said they had to scan footage from over 250 CCTV cameras to zero in on the suspect. Rajender and Saran were arrested on Monday morning and later questioned. The police will seek their custody on Tuesday to gather more evidence against them and to check if they had targeted any more children

“Rajender was already charge sheeted in a previous case in which he had raped a 16-year-old girl in the same Nihal Vihar neighbourhood,” said Seju P Kuruvilla, deputy commissioner of police (outer).

The investigator said that the suspect may have killed the seven-year-old fearing identification. “The girl he had raped in 2016 had managed to escape, because of which he was caught. He did not want a repeat of that case, which could lead to his identification,” said the officer.

The DCP said that in the previous rape case, Rajender had initially claimed to be a minor and was granted bail by the juvenile justice board. “Later, documents proved that he was an adult. He managed to remain on bail, but has been charge sheeted and is under trial,” said DCP Kuruvilla.

Police said they are unclear of Saran’s role in the crime.

“While Rajender was the only one who raped the girl, investigators are yet to ascertain whether his father helped him kill the child,” said the DCP.

Meanwhile, the victim’s parents alleged that the police did not do enough to search for the girl, an allegation denied the DCP denied.

On Monday, the girl’s relatives and neighbours protested against the police in the neighbourhood. The family also met Delhi Commission for Women chief Swati Maliwal, who shot off a letter to the police, seeking their response to the allegations. The father-son duo was arrested on Monday morning.

First Published: Feb 12, 2019 09:02 IST