Surat horror: 9-year-old raped, brutally-tortured for 8-days before being murdered
Even as the nation mourns the eight-year-old in Kathua who was drugged and raped repeatedly before being murdered, a similar incident has been reported in Surat. Police have found the body of a nine-year-old near a cricket field in Bhestan with over 80 injuries, including some on her private parts. Post-mortem has revealed she was raped for at least eight days before being strangled.
The body was found on April 6. Police still haven't been able to identify the girl or her parents, but suspect she was murdered somewhere else and dumped near the ground. "The body had 86 injury marks. Samples have been taken to ascertain whether she was drugged," said Ganesh Govekar, Forensic Head, Civil Hospital. Most injuries were apparently caused by a wooden-weapon, officials said.
Police are now going through the list of missing persons to see if the victim fits any profile. Her photo has been sent to the state police control room for "identification process." Cops have also announced a reward of Rs. 20,000 for relevant information.
India has been shaken by a series of violent crimes against women and children. A teenager in Unnao accused a BJP MLA of raping her last year. Days earlier, a 19-year-old Jamshedpur boy was arrested for slashing his five-year-old cousin's throat for resisting his rape attempts. The girl died. In Delhi, a teenager was kidnapped and raped for 10 days by her stalker.
Commenting on the recent Unnao and Kathua cases, PM Narendra Modi said, "As a country, as a society, we are ashamed of (such incidents). I want to assure that no culprit will be spared, complete justice will be done. Our daughters will definitely get justice."
The Center is now mulling the death penalty for rape of minors aged under 12, Women and Child Development (WCD) Minister Maneka Gandhi said. Currently, the maximum punishment is life imprisonment. Since the parliament isn't in session, the government might bring an ordinance, WCD Secretary Rakesh Srivastava said. In the Surat case, the unidentified accused have been booked under the POCSO Act.