The police were informed on April 21 by the girl's father that his daughter had gone missing after she went to the market. Police registered a case and during investigation, found a CCTV footage in which the accused was seen taking the girl along with him, they added.
The police traced the juvenile to a madrassa where he studied and apprehended him. The girl was recovered from there, the police said. The girl's statement was recorded in front of a magistrate yesterday. The accused was sent to a juvenile justice home.
The girl's family was earlier staying in Ghaziabad before moving to Ghazipur and was known to the family of the accused juvenile.
Residents protested in Ghazipur today demanding action against the cleric.
"We have assured them that fair investigation is being conducted on merits and no one will be spared if he is involved in the crime. Owing to inter-state ramifications of the case and for thorough in-depth investigation, the case is being transferred to the Crime Branch," said Ravindra Yadav, Joint Commissioner of Police (Eastern Range).
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