A 35-year-old man allegedly raped and killed an eight-year-old girl, who went missing from her neighbourhood in Kharagpur area of West Midnapore, on Monday. Locals found her body at his house the same day. Police said the accused, Gautam Singh, lured the girl to his house while she was riding her bicycle near her home, and then allegedly raped and killed her.
“Her body was recovered from the house of the accused. It was lying under his bed. Prima facie, the victim was raped. Her body has been sent for autopsy to ascertain the exact cause of death,” Sub-Divisional Police Officer (Kharagpur) Santosh Mondal told The Indian Express. According to police sources, the girl’s family started looking for her around nightfall, when she did not come back after riding her cycle.
Once the news spread, the entire locality launched a search for the girl. Singh — known as a tantrik in the area — allegedly joined the search after locking his house. “When the family could not trace the girl, and decided to search every house in the locality, the accused got nervous. He allegedly tried to convince the family that the girl was picked up by child lifters. One of the neighbours, who grew suspicious of his behaviour, asked him to unlock his house. Locals then forced him to open his house and found blood stains all over the floor.The body was lying under the bed,” said an officer.
Police sources said angry locals attacked the accused upon discovering the body. They also allegedly tried to set Singh’s house on fire, but police reached the spot and brought the situation under control. “The girl was naked, and was lying in a pool of blood. Circumstantial evidence suggests she was raped. But it’s too early to confirm the allegations. We are waiting for all reports. A case has been registered and accused has been arrested, but is currently in the hospital,” an officer said.