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Grandfather arrested for raping 7-year-old child in Meghalaya

The incident has sparked outrage in the matrilineal northeastern state.

india Updated: Apr 19, 2018 18:01 IST
David Laitphlang
David Laitphlang
Hindustan Times, Shillong
Meghalaya rape,Child raped,North Garo Hills
Civil society groups in Meghalaya are planning to take out a series of rallies in the entire Garo Hills region.(Reuters file photo)

A 60-year-old man was arrested on Wednesday for allegedly raping his 7-year-old granddaughter in a remote village of Meghalaya’s North Garo Hills, police said on Thursday, sparking fresh outrage over the latest incident of sexual assault on a minor.

Officials said Deny Marak allegedly raped his granddaughter on April 10, one of the three times, in Kama Gandim when the girl went to his house to collect her books before going for a tuition class nearby. He threatened her to keep quiet about the assault.

The girl told her mother about the sexual abuse on Wednesday. The mother immediately informed her family and handed Marak over to the police at Kharkutta police station.

North Garo Hills superintendent of police Dalton P Marak said an investigation is already on and a team is gathering evidence even as the medical report of the child is awaited.

“It seems he had molested her on two other occasions making it three times in all,” Marak said while speaking with the Hindustan Times over the phone.

He said police are “booking him under relevant sections” of the stringent Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012.

O Pasi, deputy inspector general of police in charge of Western Range said, his department will ensure the little girl gets justice.

“There will be no mercy. We will send a strong message that such crimes will be dealt with stringently and swiftly so that it does not plaque our state,” Pasi said.

Sources said that Marak had thrown out the child and her family from his house after an altercation with him a couple of months ago.

The incident has sparked outrage in the matrilineal northeastern state.

A non-government organisation - Bakdil – took out a silent protest rally in Tura, the principal town of Garo Hills, to sensitise people against such crimes and also to condemn the increasing cases of attacks on children, especially minors.

Other civil society groups in the region are also planning to take out a series of rallies in the entire Garo Hills region.

Child sexual abuse has been in focus after the gang-rape and murder of the 8-year-old girl in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua district hit the headlines.

The incident in Meghalaya also comes after a 7-year-old girl was allegedly raped and murdered by a 19-year-old man earlier this week during a wedding in Uttar Pradesh’s Etah.

And a body of an identified minor girl with 86 injury marks was found in Gujarat’s Surat almost a fortnight ago and police said she may have been tortured and raped before being killed. The girl believed to be between nine and 11 years old was strangled, they said.

Government figures show that a child is sexually abused every 15 minutes in India. According to the National Crime Records Bureau report for 2016, there was a sharp spike in cases of rape against children with an increase of such incidents by over 82% as compared to 2015.

First Published: Apr 19, 2018 17:59 IST