More than a month after the body of a 10-year-old girl, a resident of Palsora village, was found in a plastic bag, the Chandigarh Police claims to have solved the case with the arrest of two youths. The accused — both drug addicts as claimed by the police — had raped the girl for four days before strangulating her. They then dumped her body.
Anirudh, 18, and Raj Kumar, 20, were arrested by the Mohali Police on charges of murdering an ATM guard in Dera Bassi on December 17, last year. The two were sent to Patiala Central Jail on judicial remand. Suspecting their involvement in ATM cloning racket, the Cyber Crime Cell of Chandigarh Police took their custody from the Punjab Police on January 16 and brought them to Chandigarh for questioning.
After the call records and mobile phone locations of the two accused were scrutinised, it was found that Anirudh and Raj were in Palsora village from November 27 to 30 — the time when the 10-year-old girl was reported missing. During interrogation, the duo confessed to raping and murdering the girl, the police said. The two were not known to the deceased.
“Anirudh hails from Faizabad in Uttar Pradesh and was living in Chandigarh for the last three years. Raj is from Noorpur, Punjab, and came to the city two years ago. The duo were in contact for the last six months and committed many offenses together. They were arrested by the Punjab Police for murder of an ATM security guard. During interrogation by the Cyber Crime Cell, they confessed to raping and murdering the missing 10-year-old girl,” said Senior Superintendent of Police Dr Sukhchain Singh Gill.
During interrogation, the duo said: “A young girl was going somewhere in the village. We covered her with a blanket and kidnapped her. We then took her to a forest area near the village where we were living in a jhuggi.”
A police source said that the accused kept the girl hostage from November 27 to 30. “The accused tied the 10-year-old’s hands and mouth and repeatedly raped her for four days,” he said. The ten year old was reported missing on November 27. After police started a search operation, the duo got scared and murdered the minor girl. “On November 30, the duo thought that if the police finds the girl, she might recognise them. Out of fear, Raj strangulated the girl with a thin rope and then dumped her body in a plastic bag in Sector 52. The body was found on December 1”, said the source.
The Chandigarh police had registered a case of murder, rape, kidnapping and destruction of evidence under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Section 6 (aggravated penetrative sexual assault) under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act in December last after the body of the minor girl was found.