HOURS AFTER a PhD student from Visva-Bharati in Birbhum was sentenced to life for raping and blackmailing a minor, a 10-year-old was found allegedly raped and murdered in the same district.
According to the police complaint lodged by the victim’s father, the Class V student, who went to a boarding school, had just come home at Rambhadrapur in Tarapith for the summer vacation. She was asleep on the verandah with her grandmother and elder brother.
“Around 1 am, I noticed that she was not beside me. I thought she must have gone to the washroom. But after she did not return for a long time, I called my son and raised an alarm,” said the grandmother.
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The family members, along with villagers, began to look for the girl. Around 3 am, her semi-nude body was found at a distance of nearly 1 km from her residence, inside a hut in a farmland. According to eyewitnesses, while the lower part of the body was covered with a sack, the girl had been gagged with hay.
The incident sparked tension in the area with villagers resisting the attempts by the police to take away the body. They demanded a CBI probe as well as the immediate arrest of the culprits.
The father of the victim, a daily wage earner, went on to lodge a complaint against unknown persons. “A few people have been detained for questioning. The postmortem examination report will shed light on the cause of death,” a district police officer said.