Raped and strangled by a 22-year-old man, two minor girls, aged six and eight, “pretended to be dead” so that the accused would leave. The accused was arrested on Saturday, while both girls are in the hospital. “We have arrested Pankaj Kumar, a factory worker, for allegedly raping the girls. He was produced before a Delhi court and sent to 14-day judicial custody,” DCP (rohini district) Rishi Pal said.
Dr Puneeta Mahajan, medical superintendent, Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar Hospital, said, “The victims were brought in a critical condition. They are now in post-operative care. A team of doctors is monitoring their condition, which is, at present, stable.” The incident took place around 7.30 pm on Friday when the girls, who are neighbours, were playing outside their homes. “The accused called the girls, gave them a Rs 100 note and asked them to get a packet of Eno from a shop nearby. The girls went to the shop but couldn’t find the product. The accused then asked them to accompany him to another shop, and said he would also buy them candy,” a senior police officer said.
Police said that the elder sister of one of the girls also tried to accompany the accused, but he asked her not to. “She asked him to leave her sister alone, but he slapped her. When she started crying, he gave her Rs 5 and asked her to go home. He took the two girls to an isolated park near a canal, about 150 metres from their home. At the park, he raped them and beat them up. When they started crying, he he hit them on their faces,” the mother of one of the victims told The Indian Express.
Police said he then tried to strangle both girls. “He dumped them inside a pit after they stopped struggling, thinking they were dead. One of the girls later told her mother she ‘pretended to be dead so the man would leave’,” an officer said. Meanwhile, parents of the girls made a PCR call and informed police they were missing.
Police reached the spot and started looking for them. “Around 4.45 am on Saturday, the relatives of the girls started looking inside the park. The father of one of the girls noticed some clothes lying around and started screaming. Suddenly, one of the girls rushed towards him and told him about the other girl. Police then took the girls to a hospital,” the officer said.
Police tried to record the statement of both girls, but they were “too scared to talk”, police said, adding that they would be provided counselling. Eventually, they informed police they had “seen the accused around a neighborhood grocery store”. “They provided a description of the accused and on the basis of that, police questioned the owner of the grocery store. Police then questioned over 100 people, and eventually traced Kumar, who was found living near the girls’ homes,” the officer said.