A minor girl was allegedly raped and murdered by a neighbour at a slum in Bhopal. Accusing police of inaction, residents of the area gheraoed the local police station.
A senior police officer said rape had been confirmed and that the victim was at least 10 years old.
The victim had gone to buy a gutka pouch late on Saturday, but did not return home. Her body was found early the next day near a drain not far from the slum where she lived. Her family members alleged that they had tried to lodge a complaint twice, but the police did not respond. They also alleged that police made no attempt to look for the victim. A complaint was finally registered after intervention by the local municipal councillor.
Seven police officers have been suspended for dereliction of duty following allegations of inaction and insensitivity. A police officer allegedly commented that the victim might have eloped with someone and would return after some time.
DIG, Bhopal, Irshad Wali told The Indian Express that the police have identified the culprit, who lived close to the victim’s house, and are closing in on him. The 33-year-old suspect is married, but his wife left him a few years ago.
The police detained a couple of persons who had rented home to the accused.
Bhopal MP Pragya Singh Thakur and Congress leader Digvijaya Singh were among those who visited the victim’s family. Led by Pragya Thakur, a BJP delegation called on Governor Anandiben Patel and submitted a memorandum, citing instances of “deteriorating law and order situation” in the state. The memorandum claimed that nearly 15,000 government officials have been transferred by the Congress government and that has taken a toll on administration and policing.
Holding Home Minister Bala Bachchan and Chief Minister Kamal Nath responsible for the situation, Leader of Opposition in Assembly Gopal Bhargava demanded their resignation and alleged that incidents of rape and murder were on the rise in the state.
The Bhopal incident followed another rape and murder case in Ujjain. The body of a five-year-old girl was recovered from Kshipra river after she was allegedly raped and murdered by a labourer. The accused was arrested on Saturday. Police said that the accused had told them that he killed the minor after raping her because she knew him. Police said they would file a chargesheet in the case in a couple of days.