A 19-year-old boy was arrested on Wednesday for allegedly raping and murdering a minor, after DNA tests linked him to the victim and the crime scene. Accused Sunny Saroj is a worker at a cattle shed in a slum colony near the naval base, INS Hamla.
Saroj, the Malvani police said, had accosted the victim, a seven-year-old girl, on May 23 evening, when she had gone with a friend to pick jamuns from a tree near the cattle shed.
“The accused asked the other girl to go home and forcibly took the victim to a creek 500 metre away and raped her on an old mattress lying below a tree. Later, when he realised that she recognised him, he strangled her,” said an investigating officer.
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The girl’s body was found several hours later by a search party led by her grandfather. The police said she was to return home at 5 pm to attend tuition classes, but could not be found.
A senior police officer said Saroj and another cattle shed worker had been detained initially, as they were the individuals closest to the crime scene on that evening. “Neither of them confessed anything at that time, so we let them go,” said the officer. After teams of forensic experts collected samples from the crime scene, the police sent DNA samples of the two suspects to the Forensic Sciences Laboratory (FSL) in Kalina. “The FSL report states that Saroj’s body fluids were present on the victim’s body and mattress,” said the officer. Saroj has been charged with murder, rape and destruction of evidence under the Indian Penal Code and also under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act.