A 12-year-old Nepali girl was gang-raped, murdered and cremated by the accused after keeping her parents hostage in East Champaran district of Bihar. The matter came to light after an audio clip of the SHO concerned directing the accused to cremate the body immediately went viral.
East Champaran SP Navin Chandra Jha, who constituted an special investigation team (SIT) on Sunday, said Kundwa Chainpur police station SHO Sanjiv Kumar Ranjan has been suspended on the charges of dereliction of duty and helping the accused in suppressing the crime. Houseowner Siyaram Sah and his son Vinay Sah, the prime accused in the case, have been arrested, The Times of India reported. The SP said the audio was being examined.
ADG (headquarters) Jitendra Kumar on Sunday said it was the viral suspected audio of Ranjan which drew the attention of senior police officers. “Her body was cremated without conducting postmortem. POCSO Act was also not invoked in the FIR,” he said and added that legal action would be taken against the officer as per evidence against him.
The incident took place on January 21 at Kundwa Chainpur Bazar, hardly 2km from the Nepal-India border. The FIR was lodged on February 3 only after the victim’s father managed to escape from the clutches of the accused. He said he along with his wife fled to Nepal on February 2 night. He with four other family members from Nepal returned to Kundwa Chainpur the next day and met Sikrahna SDPO Shivendra Kumar Anubhawi at Dhaka and narrated the incident. Then only an FIR was lodged on the SDPO’s order against 11 persons and the SP was informed about the case.
The father, who worked as a guard at Chainpur market was residing with his wife and daughter in a rented room at the house of Siyaram Sah for the last seven years.
On January 21, he and his wife had gone to the market and their daughter was alone in the room. Vinay, with three of his associates, allegedly gang-raped the minor and killed her. The father, in his FIR, alleged that when he returned home, his daughter was lying in pool of blood. He took her to the local primary health center where the doctor declared her dead. He alleged that houseowner Siyaram and his supporters took him and his wife hostage and cremated the body the same night. He said they threatened him with dire consequences if he tried to escape and report the case to the police.
The SP said there is prima facie evidence against Ranjan to make him accused in the case for his connivance with the culprits. He said the locked room was opened up for investigation. He said forensic experts would visit the spot and the cremation site, which is an open field, on Monday.
The SP said the SHO had information about the heinous crime, but he neither lodged an FIR nor informed his superior officers and, rather, allowed the accused to dispose of the victim’s body. He said the SIT will also investigate the action of SHO and an FIR would be lodged against him if he is found guilty.