Deepak Ojha, an officer of the local police, told NDTV that they had been told by the Gujarat police that the main accused in the rape and murder case "was hiding in our area". "We detained him this morning and handed him over to the Gujarat Police team," he said.
Harsahay Gujjar, the police said, was a labourer -- a married man with two children.
The unspeakable ferocity of the assault -- one of a string of such cases -- had sent shock waves through the nation. Last weekend, protests were held across a dozen cities in India.
The Surat police are yet to identify the child, who was between 9 and 11 years old. After the police tweeted an appeal with her photo as a last-ditch effort, a couple from Andhra Pradesh came forward claiming she was their daughter, who had gone missing in October.
The body of the child, covered in over 80 wounds, was found at a desolate spot in the city near a stadium on April 6. A postmortem examination concluded that she had been held captive, gangraped and violated with wooden objects. Death had occurred due to strangulation and smothering, the report said.
The police suspected that the child was murdered in another spot and her body was dumped in the remote area to avoid detection.