On the day that Madhya Pradesh police arrested a second person accused in the gangrape of an eight-year-old schoolgirl from Mandsaur, doctors treating the victim in Indore Friday said she had been severely assaulted, and they had to perform two surgeries.
The child was allegedly lured by the accused while she was waiting for her father after school on Tuesday, gangraped and critically injured after her throat was slit. Even as doctors at Indore’s M Y Hospital said her condition was improving and that she was stable Friday, the incident sparked protests in at least eight cities in the region over the last two days.
While Mandsaur observed a bandh on Thursday, neighbouring Neemuch town remained shut Friday and protests were held at Pipliyamandi, Garoth, Naryanpura, Jaora, Indore, Dewas and Agar-Malwa demanding capital punishment for the accused.
A day after the incident, police has announced the first arrest in the case of Irfan alias Bhaiyu (20), a labourer, on the basis of CCTV footage. Police said he was purportedly seen walking ahead of the victim in the footage. The Kotwali Police have registered a case under of rape, abduction and under the POCSO Act.
Mandsaur SP Manoj Singh told The Indian Express that the second accused, Asif (24), was arrested Friday. While Irfan has been remanded to police custody for five days, the police will seek Asif’s remand on Saturday, he said. Singh also said that police would file a challan after recording the statement of the victim, who is at present not in a position to the speak to the police.
According to doctors, the victim’s condition was improving but she was still suffering from mental trauma.
The two accused are residents of Madarpura locality and according to local media, the Muslim community, led by the local Imam, marched to the collectorate to protest the sexual assault and said that the accused have no religion and demanded they be hanged.
Sources said that the protests had even stopped police from producing Irfan in court and that a magistrate was brought to the SC/ST Police Station near Mandsaur Police Control Room. The Mandsaur District Bar Association has also decided not to defend any of the accused.
Reacting to the incident, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said his government will leave no stone unturned to ensure that the accused were hanged. “They (rapists) are a burden on the society and have no right to live,’’ he said. The CM has also assured to provide the victim best possible treatment.
“The accused has already been arrested and there is evidence against him. We will ensure through fast-track courts that he will get capital punishment at the earliest,” said Chouhan. MP Congress chief Kamal Nath said that the victim should be taken to a better hospital for treatment.
Late in the night, Chouhan said that the victim’s condition was improving. “We will not just provide the best treatment to her but also take care of her education and future needs. She is the daughter of the entire state. She is my daughter. Our blessings will always remain with her,’’ he said.