More than two weeks after she went missing from her house in Ghaziabad’s Modi Nagar area, the body of a Class X student was found around 15 km away, at a sugarcane field in the neighbouring Meerut district. According to officials, the post-mortem examination suggests she died of strangulation a day before her body was found. The Modi Nagar Deputy Superintendent of Police has, meanwhile, been transferred and the local police station in-charge suspended for dereliction of duty.
On the afternoon of December 26, the 15-year-old had gone to wash her hands at a tap near her residence gate when she went missing. “An FIR under IPC sections 363 and 366 — relating to abduction — was registered against unknown persons after we received a complaint from her father. Our teams travelled to 17 neighbouring districts to crack the case,” said Ghaziabad SP RA Arvind Kumar Maurya, adding that around 11 people were questioned. “We questioned people she was in touch with before she went missing, her friends and neighbours,” he said.
On Friday, however, news about the body of a girl being found at a sugarcane field in Meerut’s Gejha village reached Modi Nagar police. “Her father, a local priest, went with police to Meerut. He could not identify her as her face was swollen. She was identified by her mother,” said Bipin Kumar, her neighbour.
The girl’s family hails from Mathura and had been living at a local temple in Modi Nagar for around 14 years. The priest’s second child, the Class X student had been reprimanded a day before she went missing, said the police as well as her neighbours.
“Her mother caught talking on the phone. She asked her how she got the phone, and the girl told her a friend had given it to her. She was beaten up by her mother, who threw the phone into the toilet. A day later, the girl stepped out of the house, where a tap is set up. People thought she had gone to wash her hands, but a while later, she disappeared,” Kumar said. Ghaziabad SSP H N Singh said. “We are ascertaining where she was all this while. There are no injury marks on her body,” Singh said.
Ghaziabad SSP H N Singh said several angles are being explored. “We are ascertaining where she was all this while. The post-mortem report says she died due to strangulation, and there are no injury marks on any part of her body,” Singh said, adding that the report had ruled out rape.
On Saturday evening, the family home was empty. A door led to a room in the basement, where the girl stayed with other children. The room, with no windows, was occupied by three cots, with three worn out badminton rackets hanging from a wall. Pointing to a school book, Kumar said, “This is her Class IX textbook… This room is where the children stayed.”