New Delhi: A nine-year-old belonging to marginalized Dalit community has been “gang-raped, murdered and forcibly cremated” in New Delhi, Aljazeera reported quoting family members.
The gruesome incident has sparked protests by the family and relatives of the victim in the latest case of sexual violence targeting the former “untouchable” community, which falls at the bottom of India’s complex caste hierarchy.
The victim’s family quoted by Aljazeera alleges that a Hindu priest working at a local crematorium and his associates raped the victim and then cremated her body without their approval on Sunday.
Another report said that four suspects were arrested on Monday — a priest, Radhe Shyam, along with Laxmi Narayan and Kuldeep who worked with the priest, and Salim, a resident of the area — a day after the child’s mother identified them.
The accused have been charged under sections 376 (rape), 302 (murder), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 204 (destruction of evidence) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) apart from the relevant sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and the SC/ST Act.
The family, along with other Dalits and activists, is camping on a road in New Delhi’s Nangal neighbourhood, demanding justice.
The incident was reported months after a 13-year-old Dalit was raped and murdered in Uttar Pradesh, stirring the widespread anger among the masses.
Meanwhile, the Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said he met the minor’s family in Delhi. During his interaction with the media, Kejriwal said that her loss can’t be compensated but the Delhi Govt will provide them Rs 10 lakhs ex-gratia.
I met her parents. Her loss can't be compensated for but Delhi govt will provide them Rs 10 Lakhs ex-gratia. We'll order magisterial inquiry & appoint top lawyers so that culprits get strict punishment: Delhi CM after meeting parents of minor girl who was allegedly raped-murdered pic.twitter.com/UazyOop2kG
— ANI (@ANI) August 4, 2021
Earlier, the Delhi CM had demanded capital punishment to the culprits at the earliest.
Terming the incident ‘shameful’, Kejriwal said there is a need to improve law and order in Delhi.