- The girl, who lived with her family in a slum, went missing on Saturday
- Early investigation suggests the girl was choked to death
- The girl's family alleged police negligence after they filed a complaint
The body of an 8-year-old girl, who was allegedly raped, was found near a drain in Madhya Pradesh's Bhopal today. The girl, who lived with her family in a slum, was missing since last evening, after she had gone out to a shop.
Early investigation suggests that she was choked to death after being raped, a senior police officer said. The girl's uncle alleged marks on the girl's hands suggest she was tied up as well. The girl's family also accused the police of neglecting their complaint that they filed an hour after she went missing.
The girl's uncle said the family searched for the girl in the railway station and several bus stands throughout the night, after which a family member dialed the police, requesting them to meet them at their home.
"We filed a police complaint, but during investigations when police officials came to our home, they demanded water and gutkha and told us to not worry, because the girl would return as she had probably gone and slept off somewhere. They told us to go and sleep too," the girl's uncle said. The body was found this morning by the girl's father not far from where they lived.
A top police official said the police expected to solve the case soon. Police officials said the accused, identified as Vishnu Mohare, lived close to the girl's home, Additional Superintendent of Police Akhil Patel was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.
Mr Patel said six relatives of the accused were detained for interrogation.
Six police personnel have been suspended for neglecting their duty, said officials, adding that a reward of Rs 20,000 has been declared to arrest the accused.
"Preliminary investigations reveal the girl went missing at around 8 pm. She had ventured out to buy gutkha, had returned back home and then left again. When she didn't return, the family reached the police station to register a complaint. A post mortem is being confirmed to confirm if the girl was raped," said Inspector General Yogesh Deshmukh.
Chief Minister Kamal Nath expressed grief over the murder and ordered strict action against the accused, reported PTI.
Several prominent Madhya Pradesh politicians, including senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh, Bhopal lawmaker and BJP leader Pragya Thakur and two state ministers met the girl's family.
"As many as twenty police teams are on the lookout for the accused," state Home Minister Bala Bachchan was quoted as saying by PTI.
In a tweet, BJP leader and former chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan condemned the crime, saying "humanity was ashamed". "We will not let off those who steal your smiles, the law will will not let them free," he said in the tweet in Hindi.
The incident comes just days after a 2-year-old girl's murder in Uttar Pradesh's Aligarh that triggered nationwide outrage. The child's body was dumped in a garbage pit by her killers, following an argument with the girl's family over Rs 10,000.
(With Inputs From PTI)