A 15-second grainy CCTV footage of a man leading away a 12-year-old girl — who was later found strangulated with her dupatta — helped Hyderabad Police crack the murder on Friday.
The police arrested 22-year-old Dastagir Shoukath, a neighbour of the girl’s family who had in fact attended her funeral.
The CCTV footage was obtained from a camera installed as part of the Hyderabad Police’s Community CCTV Project. This was the first murder solved using community CCTV footage.
On August 11, between 7.30 and 8 pm, Naseem Begum sent her daughter to purchase meat and vegetables. The girl did not return home. The next day, Naseem and her husband Najumal Hussain went to police.
On August 14, the girl’s body was found dumped in the water sump of an under construction building near her home.
Police then started examining CCTV footages from a camera installed in a street near the girl’s house and those in nearby areas. “We zeroed in on a youth who was wearing similar clothes as the youth seen with the girl. With this small clue we worked out who he was,” the official said.
Dastagir allegedly told the police he had taken the girl to an under construction building and tried to rape her. When she resisted, he strangulated her.