In a horrifying incident, the body of a six-year-old girl child was found with her clothes in a state of disarray on March 26, Tuesday in Coimbatore. The next day, the city police ascertained that she was sexually assaulted multiple times before she was killed.
The little girl had gone missing on March 25, Monday. Her parents launched a search in the neighbourhood but when they couldn't find their daughter, they registered a missing person complaint at the local police station. After an intensive search, the girl's body was recovered on Tuesday morning in a street behind her house.
The parents said that the girl and her four-year-old sister had gone to the shop on Monday evening, and shortly returned. The two girls then went outside to play. A little while later, the younger sister came back and told her mother that the older girl was missing.
The post mortem conducted on Wednesday concluded that the girl was sexually assaulted before she was killed. The police altered the complaint from a missing person case and filed it under section 376 A (Punishment for causing death or resulting in a persistent vegetative state of the victim) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
The case of sexual assault file under IPC and POCSO
They also filed the case under sections 5 (l) (Whoever commits penetrative sexual assault on the child more than once or repeatedly), 5 (m) (Whoever commits penetrative sexual assault on a child below twelve years) and 6 (Punishment for aggravated penetrative sexual assault) the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. The police added that the victim was smothered and strangulated to death, reports The Hindu.
The brutal murder of the little girl sparked protests across Coimbatore. Residents of the city took to the streets on Wednesday morning and blocked roads demanding the arrest of the assailants. In addition to this, the relatives of the girl refused to take her body saying that the police must arrest the accused. Only when the police showed them the pictures of the suspects in police custody, the relatives accepted the body.
The police have taken five suspects in custody for questioning. According to The News Minute, the parents suspect four men as the culprits. Speaking to the media, they said that they often spoke to the child on the street.
"I searched everywhere for my child. She only plays around this locality and doesn't go anywhere else. When we found her there were wounds all over her body and so much blood. We still don't know who did this," the girl's mother was quoted as saying by TNM.