- Child's eyes gouged out, body burnt with acid, say police
- Stepmother instigated her son, friends to rape her, say police
- Decomposed body found in Uri forest on Sunday last
A nine-year-old girl was gang-raped allegedly by her stepbrother and his friends and then strangled by her stepmother in Kashmir's Baramulla. The child's eyes were gouged out and her body was burnt with battery acid before being dumped in a forest near her home in Uri, said the police, revealing details of an unspeakable crime.
The child's stepmother, 14-year-old stepbrother and three others have been arrested.
The decomposed body of the girl was found in the forest on Sunday last.
"We started an investigation immediately," said Mir Imtiyaz Hussain, a senior police officer at Baramulla. The police call it an open-and-shut case.
A special team formed to investigate the murder uncovered a horrifying story of jealousy and revenge within a family.
"It was found that the stepmother had been nursing a grudge against the non-local wife of her husband, and her children," said Mr Hussain.
During interrogation, the girl's stepmother allegedly said her husband would spend more time with his second wife and the nine-year-old was closest to him among all his children. The police said tension had been rising in the family.
"The woman conspired to kill her stepdaughter. She took her to the nearby jungle where she asked her 14-year-old son to rape the girl," the police officer said. "The girl was gang-raped at the instance of her stepmother and in her presence," Mr Hussain said.
The stepmother is accused of strangling the girl while her son hit the child on the head with an axe. His friend brought vehicle battery acid from home and sprinkled it on the body while another friend gouged out her eyes with a knife before dumping the corpse in the bushes.
"The friends of the woman's son dumped the body in the bushes and covered it with pine twigs and branches. The axe and knife have been recovered on information from the accused," the police officer said.
A plastic can containing acid has also been found. The police said they are building a watertight case.