It is a case of a barbaric crime committed, a blatant act of covering it up, and the police being a part of the heinous act of covering it up as well. East Champaran police in Bihar have booked four people for alleged rape and murder of a 12-year-old girl, and seven others for alleged destruction of evidence. Booked under POCSO Act, two of them have been arrested, the police said Saturday.

Representative image: source

The crime took place on January 21 at a rented accommodation at a market in East Champaran. The victim’s father, a resident of Nepal, sells tea during the day and works as a night watchman at the local market, it is learned. The little girl was alone at home when the perpetrators barged in. Her mother was in Nepal, and her brother at a different place owing to work.

After committing the crime, the accused allegedly burnt the victim’s body and threatened her father with dire consequences due to which he did not approach the police with a complaint initially. However, the victim’s father filed an application before the sub-divisional police officer of Motihari to file an FIR, which was eventually registered on February 3.

Representative image: source

On February 2, an audio conversation between the police in-charge (name withheld) and one Ramesh Sah went viral – in it, they were heard purportedly discussing disposing of the girl’s body. The local police station in-charge was then suspended for purportedly delaying lodging an FIR and for not conducting a postmortem despite knowledge of the crime.

East Champaran SP Navin Chandra Jha told the media as reported by Times Now: “We suspended the police station in-charge on Saturday for dereliction of duty, and for not conducting postmortem and delaying the filing of FIR despite knowledge of the incident. We have taken serious note of the incident and are conducting raids to arrest the accused.”

Representative image: source

Strict action needs to be taken against the group of accused, as well as the police officers who acted as an accomplice in disposing of the body. A crime like this portrays several instincts that are disturbing – from the fact that the particular girl might have been targetted because their family came from a different country and weren’t influential, to the collusion with the police post the crime to cover it up. The accused getting any leeway in the course of justice would be the injustice of the highest order. The court must ensure that punishment is meted out at the earliest which would serve as a deterrent.

 

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