A Special Armed Force (SAF) soldier has been arrested on charges of kidnapping and raping a five-year-old girl in Madhya Pradesh, said a senior police officer today.
The accused, Santosh Markam (24), is a soldier of 6th battalion of the SAF and currently posted as a cook in local police lines, Narsinghpur senior police official Gurukaran Singh told reporters.
The SAF is a wing of the state police.
The minor girl, who belonged to a nomadic family, went missing on the intervening night of June 24-25 when she was sleeping with her mother and sister on an open plot, he said.
Later, the victims family found her in an unconscious condition at a nearby spot, the officer said, adding it was subsequently revealed she was raped.
The police zeroed in on Markam, who was drunk at the time of the incident, on Wednesday after scanning CCTV footage of the area and collective other evidences, Mr Singh said.
"The jawan was inebriated when he committed the crime. We closed on him with the help of CCTV footage and after collecting other evidences."
"The police arrested him from a village in Mandla district and subjected him to interrogation during which he admitted to the crime, the SP said.
Mr Singh said the accused, a married man, is addicted to alcohol.
Another senior police officer Rajesh Tiwari said case has been registered against the soldier under relevant sections of the IPC and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
He was produced before a local court, which sent him to jail under judicial custody, the ASP added.
The girl, who suffered injuries in the sexual assault, is undergoing treatment at a hospital in Jabalpur, officials said.
After family members of the victim alleged police negligence in handling the matter, a head constable was suspended for dereliction of duty, the SP had earlier said.
"The family has said they reached the local police station at 3 am on June 25, but there was no action on their complaint," Mr Singh had said.