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Neighbour held for raping and killing 7-year-old girl in Narela

A week after a seven-year-old girl was found dead in an abandoned sewage plant in outer Delhi’s Narela Industrial Area, police on Sunday arrested her 28-year-old neighbour for raping and then strangulating her to death.

india Updated: Jun 25, 2019 07:27 IST
Anvit Srivastava
Anvit Srivastava
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
India news,Narela,Delhi
The man shocked the investigators when he confessed that he sexually assaulted the minor girl and murdered her because he had a grudge against the child’s father, said an officer who asked not to be named.(AFP file photo)

A week after a seven-year-old girl was found dead in an abandoned sewage plant in outer Delhi’s Narela Industrial Area, police on Sunday arrested her 28-year-old neighbour for raping and then strangulating her to death.

The man shocked the investigators when he confessed that he sexually assaulted the minor girl and murdered her because he had a grudge against the child’s father, said an officer who asked not to be named.

Police have learnt that the man, who is a part-time driver and also works at a pickle-making factory, served a jail term after his arrest for the rape of a minor girl in 2011 in outer Delhi. He was in jail for 13 months until the rape survivor’s family withdrew the case and charges were dropped, the officer added.

Police said they arrested the man this week after two witnesses reported seeing him with the child on the night she went missing.

According to the police, on June 14, the girl, a student of Class 2 who was third among five siblings, went out to play in a park near her house around 6.30pm.

Police said, when the girl did not return home by 8pm, her mother informed her husband, who works as a spice vendor in north-east Delhi.

“The girl’s father and a few locals from the area searched for the girl overnight but failed to locate her. The next day, they approached police with the help of a few neighbours and a missing complaint was filed. A police team comprising at least 20 personnel was formed to comb the neighbourhood. Public announcements were made and children homes, hospitals and morgues were checked to find the girl. On June 16, when a police team was searching a park in Narela Industrial Area, the girl’s body was found in the bushes of an abandoned sewage treatment plant in one corner of the park,” said a second officer privy to the investigation who also spoke on condition of anonymity.

Deputy commissioner of police (outer north) Gaurav Sharma said that a case of murder was registered. Since we suspected that the girl was raped, the body was sent for a post-mortem examination and Section 376 (rape) along with sections under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Posco) Act were added to the case.

During the preliminary probe, the girl’s mother told the police that, about two months ago, the neighbour had tried to take her daughter to an abandoned stretch close by, offering her some money and sweets. The woman said that had spotted the man and the child together and she was rescued. No police case was registered at that time.

Sharma said that when the police first interrogated the man, he said he was unaware of the incident and that he was at working at the factory till late night on June 14. “When we checked with his colleagues, we learnt that he had left the factory at 5.30pm that day. We confronted him with the fact and with technical surveillance data, after which he confessed to have taken the girl to the secluded park and raped her,” the DCP said.

The man told the police that since he was known to the girl, he could not take the risk of leaving her alive. A police team that visited the spot found a tetra pack of a mango drink, which the man had bought to lure the girl, Sharma said.

The second officer said the alleged rapist-murderer said that the minor’s father had a relationship with his sister. “He stated this as also one of the reason for raping and killing the girl to take revenge of her father’s act,” he added.

Family members and locals burnt effigies of the alleged rapist-murderer on Monday evening.

According to data provided by the Delhi Police, 88 cases were registered under Posco Act in 2017, out of which 70 were solved and 75 people were arrested. In 2018, incidents under Posco Act nearly doubled as 165 cases were registered till November 30. Police claimed to have solved 140 of these cases with the arrest of 144 persons.

First Published: Jun 25, 2019 00:02 IST

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