Three persons have been arrested in connection with the rape and murder of a 16-year-old girl in West Bengal's Jalpaiguri district, police said on Saturday.
The girl had gone missing on August 10, following which her family lodged a missing complaint with the district police on August 11. The girl's partially decomposed body was recovered from a septic tank near the house of one of the accused on Thursday.
3 arrested, remanded in police custody
"We have arrested three persons. They have been remanded in eight-day police custody. The victim's father lodged a complaint with area police station but gave no name of any suspect. After three days, the girl's father shared the name of a suspect and we detained him for investigation," Jalpaiguri Superintendent of Police Pradeep Kumar Yadav told IANS on phone.
He said that the first suspect initially denied any involvement and was released. Later, he was again detained for interrogation. "He disclosed the name of another person who was also arrested. The second suspect actually confessed to the crime. Subsequently, the first suspect also admitted to his role in the crime," Yadav said.
The family of the minor, however, alleged inaction and said that the girl could have been saved with timely action.
"Initially, we had no specific lead in the case. When the police got the name of the suspect, he was detained. Still, we will conduct a thorough probe and look into any negligence on part of any police officer. If negligence in duty is found, strict action will be taken," the police officer said.
According to police sources, all three accused aged around 30-35 lived in neighbouring villages. The trio took the girl to a house on August 10 and sexually assaulted her. She was later killed and the body dumped in the septic tank.
Meanwhile, area residents staged a sit-in in front of the police station on Friday and alleged police inaction. The villagers pointed out that going by the police claims, the minor was alive for at least five days after she went missing.