A disabled 12-year-old girl was raped, allegedly by her own cousin, before being beheaded and dumped by a pond.
The girl was reported missing by her family on Friday, October 16. The following morning her body was found near a pond Moti Bhakhar village. The remote village is located in Dantiwada Tehsil of Banas Kantha district in Gujarat, India.
Dr Kushal Ojha, Deputy Superintendent of Police, told reporters: “The case came to light when Dantiwada police found a decapitated body near the pond near Moti Bhakhar village.
“A day earlier, police were informed of the disappearance of a 12-year-old girl from the area.”
He continued: “On the morning of October 17, the body of a minor was found in the border of Moti Bhakhar village.
“The police also found the severed head of the girl at some distance of the body. On investigation, it was confirmed that the body was of the missing girl.”
After reviewing CCTV footage, police arrested the dead girl’s cousin, 25-year-old Nitin Mali. He is currently helping police with their enquiries.
The Indian Express quotes Dr Ojha as saying: “In CCTV footage the accused Nitin Mali (25), cousin of the deceased, was found to be riding with the victim on his bike.
“Primary investigation revealed that Nitin raped the victim and later beheaded her due to the fear of getting exposed.”
The girl’s body has been sent for post-mortem, and police are continuing to question Mali.
Rajulben Desai, a representative from India’s National Commission for Women visited the area where the girl’s body was discovered.
At a press briefing, Ms Desai said: “The increasing incidence of atrocities and rapes against women, especially minors, is of great concern to society.”
There have been protests across India at the ongoing epidemic of rape and sexual violence in the country, with many saying the government hasn’t done enough to stem the tide of sexual crimes.
Demonstrators shouting “Hang the rapists” and “First raped by devils, then by the system” gathered near Parliament in New Delhi earlier this month