A 22-year-old labourer abducted an infant who was sleeping on the roadside with her mother and raped and murdered her on Thursday night (June 14) in Pune, Maharashtra.
The accused was identified as Haribhau Bansod. He was nabbed by the police on Friday morning (June 15), with the help of CCTV footage from the area.
The victim's family used to sleep on the roadside as they were homeless. "The mother, who is from another state, told us that her husband left her after she gave birth to their fourth daughter. She then came to Loni Kalbhor with her daughters and has to beg to feed them," the Times of India quoted inspector Krantikumar Patil as saying.
The night the child was abducted, the family was sleeping in front of a cloth store near Loni railway station. When the woman woke up at around midnight and saw that her daughter was not beside her, she alerted the entire family, following which they frantically started looking for the child.
When they could not trace her, they approached the police in the early hours of Friday and filed a missing complaint. The cops immediately launched a search for the child.
"Some locals found a baby girl lying unconscious along the road near Loni railway station and alerted the police. The girl's mother too reached the spot and identified the girl as her daughter. She was rushed to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead by the doctors," Patil added.
The victim's body was sent in for an autopsy and reports have confirmed that she had been sexually assaulted.
Meanwhile, the police scanned through the CCTV footage from the area from where the child was kidnapped and noticed a man with his face covered walking away with the baby. The police were able to zero in on Bansod, a resident of a nearby slum, based on his gait.
"Our team rushed to the spot and took him (Bansod) into custody. During the questioning, he admitted to his involvement in the rape and murder of the girl," the inspector added, reported the English daily.
He has been booked for the crime under sections 366 (kidnapping), 376 (rape) and 302 (punishment for murder) of the Indian Penal Code and other relaxant sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.