Parts of Jaipur remained tense on Tuesday after the rape of a seven-year-old on Monday night led to protests by local residents, who torched several vehicles and pelted stones at homes and police.
According to police, the seven-year-old was picked up from near her home by an unidentified youth on his motorcycle Monday night. Jaipur Police Commissioner Anand Shrivastava said, “The incident happened between 7.30 and 8 pm (Monday) when a motorcycle-borne criminal took the girl away and dropped her near her home around two hours later. In between, he raped the girl. The girl recounted the ordeal to her parents, who then told the police and we lodged a case.”
The incident soon took a communal colour after the news spread through social media, and local residents protested outside the hospital where the child was being treated. Some people then allegedly torched vehicles, and pelted stones at the homes of another community as well as police.
On Tuesday morning, angry residents — accompanied by BJP’s Jaipur district president Mohan Lal Gupta — whose vehicles had been damaged or torched and their homes pelted with stones, gheraoed the police station and demanded action against the vandals.
As per Shrivastava, 30 vehicles were torched or damaged, though residents claimed the actual figure is more than twice that. Jaipur police lodged another FIR on the vandalism and took 16 persons into “preventive arrest.” On reports of the case being given a communal angle, Shrivastava said that there were some “anti-social elements who were fanning the rumours”.
In Delhi, state Health Minister Raghu Sharma enquired about the health of the child — who has since been transferred to another government hospital — and issued instructions to doctors to provide her the best possible treatment, and announced she will be treated free of cost.
Jaipur Police has constituted as many as 12 teams to trace the accused. Moreover, six police companies, including the Rajasthan Armed Constabulary, have been deployed in the tense localities of Jaipur.
On Tuesday, Jaipur Divisional Commissioner Kailash Chand Verma issued instructions to suspend internet services in parts of Jaipur between 2 pm Tuesday and 10 am Wednesday.