An eight-year-old girl was allegedly abducted and raped by a man in Madhya Pradesh's Mandsaur district, triggering a protest by locals who kept the market area of city closed today with local bar association refusing to represent the accused.
The girl was abducted her from outside her school and the accused also tried to kill her by slitting her throat, police said.
The incident took place on Tuesday evening and the accused, identified as Irfan, 20, was arrested late last night, a police official said.
"On June 26 evening, when the girl was waiting for her family members outside her school in order to go home, Irfan abducted her. He took her to the bus stand area and allegedly raped her in the bushes near Laxman Darwaja," Mandsaur SP Manoj Kumar Singh told reporters.
When her family members couldn't find her at the school and in neighbouring areas, they approached the police late that evening.
After an intense search, she was found lying unconscious in the bushes near Laxman Darwaja, the officer said.
"She was rushed to Mandsaur district hospital, where she was given initial treatment. She was then taken to Indore and her medical examination confirmed that she had been sexually assaulted," the police officer said.
The victim is currently undergoing treatment at the state-run MY Hospital in Indore. Chief of its Paediatric Surgery department, Dr Brajesh Lahoti, telling PTI that she was out of danger.
"A surgery was conducted last night and she is out of danger but in a state of shock. The wound is deep and would take time to heal," Dr Lahoti said.
According to police, the accused, who worked as a labourer, has been charged under relevant sections of the IPC and the POCSO Act. A couple of criminal cases registered against him in the past.
Condemning the incident, local residents demanded capital punishment for the accused and as a mark of protest, the market area in the city remained shut on Thursday.
The Mandsaur District Bar Association (MDBA), which convened an emergency meeting today, resolved that no lawyer would defend the accused.
MDBA president Jaideep Singh said they have petitioned the district judge asking him to try the case in a fast track court.
He added that a team of 100 lawyers would be made available to fight the case for the survivors.
A large number of locals, led by Shahar Qazi Asif, petitioned Indore SP to ensure that the accused receives capital punishment.
Deploring the incident, Madhya Pradesh Congress chief Kamal Nath tweeted that innocent girls continued to face sexual abuses in the state.
"In a latest survey, women in India are found to be insecure. MP is infamous state in the country for recording the largest number of rapes in the country already. When such incidents would stop? When our sisters- daughters are going to get a secure environ?," he tweeted.