A tip off by a 60-year-old woman, who makes a living by bootlegging, helped Surat police zero in on a 15-year-old accused of raping his five-year-old sister on Saturday night.
According to sources, as the police were scrambling for clues, the woman, who is a neighbour, approached a policeman and asked him to question the family members. She told him that she had an inkling that it was by an “insider” since she was sleeping outside her house that night and did not see anyone going in. By then, police had rounded up 15 youths from the area where mostly migrants from Odisha, UP, Bihar and Maharashtra, besides some locals. But they did not get any lead.
After the woman’s tip-off, they began to investigate about the three male members in the family: the child’s 45-year-old father, her two brothers — a 21-year-old and the other 15 years old. While the child’s father is a rag picker, her mother works as a domestic help. The elder brother works in an elastic factory, while the younger is jobless. During the investigation, the police found that the father was drunk on the night of September 30 and had slept, while the 21-year-old brother was on night duty, and it was corroborated by the factory owner. The younger boy had told the police that he was sleeping at home.
To narrow down on suspects, the police rounded up six youths, including the 15-year-old brother of the child, and brought them to the police station. “He was afraid of being caught and called one of the policemen aside and confessed to him that he had raped his sister,” said a police official on condition of anonymity.
The accused also led the police to his discarded undergarments and those of his sister which his mother had washed to get rid of blood stains. “We have carried out medical examination of the girl and the accused. He has been sent to children remand home. We have also recorded his statements. The victim is stable and is recovering gradually,” said the inspector investigating the case.