A Haldwani-based 14-year-old girl Class VIII student who went missing on September 29 was gang-raped and murdered by two of her ‘friends’. The two men have been arrested and booked for murder and rape and under provisions of the POCSO Act.
As per a Times of India report, CCTV footage revealed that the girl from Banbhoolpura area of Haldwani, Nainital district, Uttarakhand, was seen in the company of her ‘friends’, Zeeshan, 18, and Danish, 19, on the day she went missing.
“The duo was taken into custody and during questioning, they broke down and confessed to the crime. The duo led us to the crime spot and we found the girl’s body in a drain,” said a police officer.
Police learnt that the girl was in a ‘relationship’ with Zeeshan and was putting pressure on him to give up his smack (black tar heroin) addiction. Danish took them out ‘in a bid to patch up’ between Zeeshan and the girl. However, Zeeshan claimed he slapped the girl after she started quarreling again, rendering her unconscious.
“Two of them then allegedly raped her and then used her scarf to strangle her. They stole her phone and dumped the body into the drain,” said Haldwani circle officer Shantanu Parashar. Both have been charged under IPC section 302 (murder) and 376 (rape) as well as provisions of the POCSO Act.
A local news report, however gives a different picture. It says the two accused are both carpenters, and they decided to murder the girl after she turned one of them down.
In any case, this is a clear case of grooming a minor where the minor girl is aged 14 and the adult Muslim youth is 18 years old. But police and MSM are reporting it as a ‘relationship’.
Moreover, shouldn’t someone who claims that he was trying to ‘patch things up’ between two friends, have rushed the girl to hospital after she fell unconscious? But instead, Danish decided to gang-rape the unconscious girl along with Zeeshan, and both of them then murdered the girl.
This smacks of a planned conspiracy by the two accused. The claim about the girl becoming unconscious is most likely a lie, to make it seem like a crime of passion and soften the punishment.
Police should investigate the matter thoroughly and the prosecution and judiciary should ensure the accused are given the death penalty. But knowing the track record of the secular state, that is unlikely.