Neighbour arrested for rape-murder of 7-year-old girl in Pudukottai

A day after the body of a missing girl was found with injuries in a dry pond at Embal village in Pudukottai district, the police have arrested a 25-year-old man on Thursday on the charge of raping and murdering the girl.

The accused, M Raja, lives in the same area as the girl who was a Class II student. The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) in Delhi has taken suo motu cognisance of media reports over the mysterious death of the seven-year-old girl in Aranthangi in Pudukkottai district, and has sought a detailed report into the incident from authorities.

According to media reports, the girl went missing on June 30 and her parents filed a complaint with the Embal Police Station in Aranthangi. The following day, on July 1, the blood-soaked body of the girl was found behind her house in a dried-up lake. Police have been enquiring with three persons, in connection with the case.

The crime coming close on the heels of a killing of a 13-year-old girl in this district, has led to an outrage and Chief Minister K Palaniswami assured stern legal action against the accused involved in the ghastly crime.

The child went missing on June 30 evening and after unsuccessful searches, her family lodged a police complaint the next day. During investigation, police said they spotted the body of the child in a deserted location near her village and it was also found that the child was last seen with a neighbour.

Following Raja’s arrest, the Embal police altered the case under IPC Sections, including 364 (kidnapping or abducting in order to murder), 376 (rape) and 302 (murder) read with Sections 5 (m), 5 (j) (iv) read with 6 (1) of the POCSO Act and Section 3 (2) (v) of the SC/ST Act.