A day after a minor girl allegedly died by suicide by jumping from the fourth floor of an under-construction building, the Etah police on Tuesday arrested a local businessman on charges of molesting and attempting to blackmail her. The 16-year-old girl was a student of class 8. No suicide note has been found, police said.
The accused was produced before a local court in Etah on Tuesday, and was sent to judicial custody, said Om Prakash Singh, Additional Superintendent of Police, Etah.
According to police, the accused possessed the victim’s photos, which he had allegedly used to blackmail her. Police have pressed charges of sexual harassment and abetment of suicide and also invoked sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
Initially, the police had suspected the girl’s father behind her suicide. However, during his interrogation, he claimed that the accused was harassing his daughter.
According to the father, the accused used to stay on rent at their house for nearly four years with his family, comprising wife and two children. Three years ago, he left the house and shifted to another house.
Police said the girl was allegedly scolded by her mother for returning late from the market. “The girl was also beaten up by her mother after she had revealed that she went to the accused’s shop in the market,” said a police officer.
On Monday afternoon, the girl’s parents and younger brother had gone to the hospital for check-up and she was alone in the house. When they returned in the evening, they found the house locked from outside.
“While they were waiting for her, local residents informed them about her death. Her parents rushed to the spot and identified her body,” said a senior police officer.
“After collecting details from her father, a police team rushed to the accused’s shop and caught him. When we searched his cellphone, we found the victim’s photograph. Later, we came to know that the accused was harassing her with those photos,” he added.
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