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Saturday, Oct 19, 2019

Surat rape and murder case: Minor, mother killed by contractor who bought them from traffickers

Gujarat police said that DNA tests confirmed that the woman whose body was found from Pandesara area in Surat on April 9 was the mother of the girl whose body was found with 86 injury marks in the same area.

india Updated: Apr 24, 2018 19:44 IST
Hiral Dave
Hiral Dave
Hindustan Times, Ahmedabad
Demonstrators hold placards during a protest in support of rape victims following cases in  Kathua, Unnao and Surat.
Demonstrators hold placards during a protest in support of rape victims following cases in Kathua, Unnao and Surat. (AFP Photo)

The 11-year-old girl found raped and murdered in Surat earlier this month was brought to the city by human traffickers along with her mother, who too was murdered, Gujarat police said on Tuesday.

DNA tests established that a woman whose body was found from the Pandesara area in Surat on April 9 was the mother of the minor, the crime branch of the Ahmedabad Police said in a press statement. The minor was found dead in the same area with 86 separate injuries on her body on April 6.

“Mother and daughter were sold multiple times before they came to Surat with Harsh Gurjjar, a tile-fitting contractor, in October 2017. The main accused Harsh had bought them from Kuldeep Gurjjar and Mukesh Gurjjar from Rajasthan for Rs 35,000,” the crime branch said in the statement.

Read: Kathua, Unnao, Etah and Surat: little likelihood of such cases decreasing

Harsh was arrested on April 21 from Rajasthan and is under remand custody till May 2. The police are trying to trace Kuldeep and Mukesh after registering a case of human trafficking along with rape and murder.

“As the girl was a witness to her mother’s murder, the main accused planned to kill her as well,” Ahmedabad crime branch Joint Commissioner of Police J K Bhatt said on Tuesday.

Harsh kept the woman, who was a widow, and her daughter at a flat at the Mansarovar Appartments construction site in Surat’s Kamej area, police said. They claimed the woman developed an intimate relationship with the contractor over a period of time and was reportedly pressurising him to take them to his house in Surat’s Pandesara area.

Harsh, who is married with two children, stayed with his family at Someshwar Society in Pandesara. His brother and others working with him live in the same building. The police said they have also been investigating if his wife had a role in the murder of the girl’s mother.

On March 20, Harsh and another accused Hariom Gurjjar first assaulted the woman in the apartment she was staying. Police said he then took the woman and her daughter away in a car. He strangled the woman in the presence of her daughter who ‘became a mute spectator’ police said, adding that Harsh then discarded the body in the Pandesara area.

Harsh took the girl back to his flat on April 1. He started sexually assaulting and torturing her after he learnt that she had been revealing information about her mother’s murder to neighbours. The police did not say if his family was home when he took her home.

On April 5, Harsh took the girl to the terrace, raped her again before killing her, police said. He then borrowed a neighbour’s car to dispose the body in a secluded place, not even 5 km from his residence, they added.

First Published: Apr 24, 2018 19:01 IST

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