9-year-old allegedly gang-raped, killed, and forcibly cremated in Delhi
A nine-year-old Dalit girl was allegedly gang-raped, killed, and forcibly cremated in national capital Delhi over the weekend. The incident has sparked huge uproar among the locals and on social media. A police case has been registered and four people involved in the gruesome crime have been arrested by the cops, while further probe is underway. Here are more details on this.
The incident took place on Sunday evening in Purana Nangal village of Delhi Cantonment area. The victim, who lived near a crematorium, had gone there around 5:30 pm to fetch some water from the water cooler, but never came back. It was there that she was allegedly gang-raped and murdered by the crematorium priest Radheshyam, along with three other people.
Radheshyam and the other accused had claimed the child got electrocuted while drinking water from the cooler. They further advised her mother not to inform the police, as that would lead to registration of a case and an autopsy. Doctors tend to steal the organs and sell them after post-mortem examination, the priest told her mother, suggesting an immediate cremation.
Locals suspect the girl's parents were initially paid some money to keep mum. They, however, later raised an alarm, and around 200 residents of the village gathered at the crematorium and informed the police. The police were alerted around 10:30 pm on Sunday, after which a team rushed to the spot. Cops have also recorded statements of some people in the case.
Police has filed a First Information Report (FIR) and invoked several sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), including Sections 302 (murder), 376 (punishment for rape), and 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation), besides relevant sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act. The 55-year-old priest and three crematorium employees have been booked. They have been identified as Salim, Laxmi Narayan, and Kuldeep.
Police said that crime scene investigation team and forensic experts have collected evidence from the crematorium. Delhi's Women and Child Development Minister Rajendra Pal Gautam visited the protest site and assured to provide support to the victim's family. Delhi's ruling Aam Aadmi Party tweeted, "Police should conduct fair investigation. If not then Delhi government will carry out a magisterial enquiry (sic)."
"We want the strictest punishment for the priest and the three men," said a 45-year-old woman neighbor of the girl's family. "If it was a case of electrocution, why did they (the accused) not inform the police or send the girl's body to any hospital for autopsy? What was the urgency to cremate the body and that too late in the evening?"