Surat girl found dead with 86 injuries may have been raped, tortured, strangled
A yet to be identified minor girl whose body was found in Surat 10 days ago had 86 injury marks and she may have been tortured and raped prior to her murder, according to a doctor at the hospital where the post-mortem was conducted. The girl is believed to be between nine and 11 years old and it appears she was strangled, said police.
Fears of yet another horrific sexual assault surfaced amid outrage across the country over the gang rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua district, and the alleged rape of a teen by Uttar Pradesh’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator Kuldeep Singh Sengar.
Surat police awaited the results of forensic tests to confirm sexual assault even as Dr Ganesh Govekar of the city civil hospital, where the post-mortem was conducted, shared chilling observations.
“Going by the nature of the injuries, they seem to be caused in the period ranging from one week to one day prior to the recovery of the body, suggesting that the girl might have been held captive, tortured and possibly raped,” the PTI quoted Dr Govekar as saying.
Police said the post-mortem suggested some wooden object was used to cause the injuries.
Police announced a reward of Rs 20,000 for information that would help identify her. “Samples have been sent for forensics tests to determine whether she was sexually assaulted,” said Surat commissioner of police Satish Sharma. “Teams have been going through missing person complaints. No family has come forward to claim her,” Sharma added.
A passerby had spotted the girl’s body lying in the bushes at a field in Pandesara in the diamond city limits and alerted the police, who recovered it on April 6.
Sharma said police were widening the scope of investigation beyond Gujarat. “No piece of evidence was found from the spot in Pandesara. In all likelihood, the crime was committed elsewhere and the body was dumped in Surat,” he added.
Surat is a four-hour drive from Mumbai and also shares border with the Union Territory of Daman. “The fact that no family has come forward to claim the body or report the crime raises suspicion,” said Sharma.
Police have registered a case under sections 302 (punishment for murder), 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt), and 376 (punishment for rape), and under provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
(With agency inputs)