The detective department of Kolkata police Monday arrested a 43-year-old man, who was allegedly involved in the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in north Kolkata on the night of February 3. The accused identified as Ranvir Tanti alias Raghubir, a resident of Balia in the Begusarai district of Bihar, is the second arrest made in the case so far.
The police came to know of Raghubir’s whereabouts after they arrested the first accused, a security guard of the abandoned building in Kolkata’s Jorabagan area where the minor was found brutally murdered on the morning of February 4. Investigation revealed that he had an accomplice.
“Based on scientific evidence gathered by the forensic team and investigation by the detective department, Ram Kumar, the security guard, was detained. He was arrested after a long interrogation,” Murlidhar Sharma, joint commissioner of police (crime) said after the first arrest.
The Kolkata minor’s partially clothed body was found on the staircase, with throat slit, broken teeth and torn hair
According to reports, locals found the body of the minor lying partially clothed on the staircase of a residential building in Jorabagan. Moreover, the minor’s throat was slit, her teeth were broken and her hair was torn, which hinted that the accused might have sexually assaulted her before murdering her in cold blood. The evidence also pointed to the fact that the victim must have put up a strong resistance against her assaulters before she died.
Evidence recovered shows clear signs of struggle
“The recovery of a blood-stained knife, four of her teeth, a clump of hair and clear signs of struggle at the murder spot showed that the girl had put a fight before she was killed,” an investigator reportedly said.
The class three student, who lived in Sovabazar, had gone to visit her maternal uncle and was and was playing in the lane in front of his house on Wednesday evening when she went missing. She was last seen around 8:30 pm that night.
Locals and child’s family accuse Kolkata police of inaction
After the news of the heinous incident spread, locals gathered and created a ruckus at the Jorabagan police station. They accused the Kolkata police of not taking action when the family of the deceased had approached the police with a missing complaint. “Police did not take action when the family had reported that she was missing,” the protesting locals alleged.
Locals also opined that the perpetrators might been known to the girl because otherwise it would be difficult for anyone to kidnap a child from the lane which remains crowded.
The Class 3 girl had come to meet her grandmother at her Jorabagan house on Wednesday. She was accompanied by her teenaged elder sister. The girl was seen playing on the road with others in the evening. We last saw her at 7.45 pm. By around 8 pm we noticed that she was missing and started a search for her. We then went to the police station and were told that a kidnapping FIR could be lodged only after 24 hours later. Cops said they would come to search the area but no one came from the police station,” reports quoted the child’s aunt as saying.
Agnimitra Paul, the president of the BJP’s state women’s front also met the victim’s mother and assured her support.
Speaking on the brutal incident, Ananya Chakraborti Chatterjee, chairperson of the West Bengal Commission for the protection of child rights, said: “We have sought a report from the police commissioner. If it is proved that the girl was sexually abused, beaten and murdered, the guilty would surely get life term imprisonment. The judge may even sentence him to death.”
Accused charged under POCSO Act and for murder
Meanwhile, the two accused men have been charged under several sections of the Indian Penal Code, including 302 (murder), and section six of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO).
Police said they are waiting for the postmortem report to determine whether the girl was raped. They said that they are also scanning CCTV footages of shops nearby, to find more details in the case.