A four-year-old girl who went missing from near her home in Mankhurd late on Sunday was found dead less than a kilometre from where she lived. Police said the minor was found in a bush of an used private property around 9.15 am on Monday.
“Prima facie, it suggests that the minor was raped and then murdered. She was gagged and was found by a passer-by on Monday morning who alerted the police,” Nasir Shaikh, senior police inspector, Mankhurd police. Police said that they are on the lookout for a 25-year-old man who allegedly passed remarks about the minor to her mother when the latter were returning home.
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“The victim’s mother sells domestic items in Mankhurd East but lives on the west side of the railways station. On Sunday evening, when she was with her daughter, she claims that a young man, aged around 22, approached her and asked if he could buy her daughter a chocolate as she looked cute. The incident took place on the station’s foot over-bridge and the mother swiftly walked away with her daughter,” an officer said.
The Mankhurd police have scrutinised the CCTV footage but only found the woman to be walking with her daughter and not being followed or getting into an argument with anyone else. The victim was found in the same frock she wore on Sunday. She had gone missing at 10:30 pm Sunday.
There was a blood-soaked cloth found in the minor’s private area and she was also gagged with a rag, an investigator added. The police believe that she died of asphyxia and have not found any external injury on the victim’s body.
The only piece of evidence recovered from the spot, police claim is a handkerchief – believed to belong to the accused – who is still at large.
“We believe the body was dumped where it was found as there the surface area is rough with several stones and there is no external injury to indicate that the minor was assaulted and murdered there,” said a senior police officer.