6-year-old girl raped, murdered in Ludhiana; suspect held
A six-year-old girl was raped and strangulated to death in the Basti Jodhewal area of Ludhiana on Wednesday morning.
Police have arrested a suspect, Bablu Pandit (40), who works with a local caterer, for committing the crime. The body of the girl, who went missing on Tuesday evening, was recovered in the bush in a vacant plot near her house at Sanyas Colony, Noorwala Road, at around 7am. There were scratch marks on her neck and injuries on her face.
Basti Jodhewal station house officer (SHO) Mohammad Jamil said soon after she went missing, the family started a search for her and lodged a missing complaint at the police station around midnight.
The body was sent to the civil hospital for post-mortem. The SHO said the initial autopsy report has confirmed rape before murder. A case under Section 302 (murder) and 376 (rape) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) was registered against Bablu on the basis of the complaint by the victim’s father who works as a tailor in a factory.
Jamil said Pandit was initially rounded up on the basis of suspicion as the neighbours confirmed that the victim was last seen with him.
The victim’s mother, a housewife, said Pandit lured her daughter out of their house by offering her peanuts on Tuesday evening. “That time I stopped my daughter. Later, when she was playing outside the house, Pandit offered her a samosa and even got her chips from a nearby shop. She went missing after that,” she said.
The victim has sisters aged three and one-and-a-half years.
Sonia, the owner of Hari Lal Chat Bhandar where Pandit works, said when the victim’s family and local residents were searching for her they suspected Pandit of having committed the crime.
“We found Pandit sleeping in our shop and he was under the influence of alcohol. We locked him inside and handed him over to the police in the morning.”
Victim had keen interest in studies
The six-year-old rape-murder victim had a keen interest in studies, her family members said. Her father said after they migrated from Sant Kabir Nagar district of Uttar Pradesh in July last year, his daughter would go to the local anganwadi centre as she loved to read and write.
“After the anganwadi centre was closed a few months back, she would remain at home and kept herself busy in studies,” he said.