A four-year-old malnourished girl, who was rescued two weeks ago from her aunt’s house in a village in Aligarh and was allegedly raped by her 14-year-old cousin, died in Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital on Sunday night.
The child was rescued on September 17 after police received information through the child helpline number that she was being starved. Police said her private parts were infested with worms. However, the police registered an FIR on September 21.
While the 14-year-old boy, who has been accused of raping the child, has been detained and has been sent to a juvenile home, his mother is absconding.
The girl’s father, a farmer in Hathras, said his 15-year-old daughter, who also lived with her aunt, has gone missing. He alleged negligence on the part of the police in handling the case. “The son of my daughter’s aunt (mausi) raped her… My elder daughter is still missing. All the accused should be arrested. The SHO did not heed to my complaints and misbehaved with me,” he said.
According to the police, the child and her elder sister moved to her aunt’s place six months ago after the death of their mother.
Meanwhile, Aligarh SSP Muniraj G suspended the SHO of the police station concerned for “laxity in handling the case”. The SSP said that the child died probably of starvation and exploitation and sexual assault that took place at her aunt’s house. “We will know the exact cause of the death once we get the post-mortem report. The medical examination conducted at an Aligarh hospital showed infection in private parts,” said Muniraj, adding that a departmental inquiry had been ordered into alleged police negligence.
He also said that the missing 15-year-old sister of the victim could be with her aunt.
Sharing the sequence of the incident, the local Circle Officer said, “On September 17, the child was admitted to a district hospital in Aligarh. The next day, she was handed over to the father, and he was advised to admit her to JN Medical College, Aligarh Muslim University. On September 21, he complained to police about exploitation by the child’s aunt and sexual assault by her cousin. A case was lodged the same day. On September 24, we questioned the accused and he confessed that he had sexually assaulted the child once. The Juvenile Justice Board sent him to a juvenile home the same day.”
The officer said the child was referred to Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi where she died on Sunday night. “The child was not able to say anything and was having breathing trouble,” said the CO, adding that teams had been formed to trace the aunt.
The victim’s family on Tuesday sat with her body on the main road in Hathras in protest against the failure of the police to arrest the aunt and alleged laxity in investigation. They agreed to cremate the body after assurances from senior officers.
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