Hours after two minor girls from a Ghaziabad village were allegedly kidnapped by a 25-year-old man from their village on Thursday evening, the body of one of the girls was found from a nearby field, even as the other girl managed to escape alive, the Ghaziabad police said early Friday after a nine-hour search operation.
The accused has been identified as Kapil, a 25-year-old who was allegedly inebriated when caught, and he has been arrested under the charges of kidnapping, police said, adding that a murder charge could be added later.
The girls, aged six and nine, were missing since 6.30 pm on Thursday and the Ghaziabad police were informed at around 8.30 pm, police said, adding that the body of the nine-year-old girl was recovered between 5.30 am and 6 am on Friday. As per preliminary investigation, the police suspect that the accused intended to sexually assault the two girls but are awaiting the post-mortem report for clarity.
“The accused took the two girls to the nearby fields on his cycle. When we received information about the incident, several police teams from four police stations were constituted to search for the missing girls. Through the support of the residents of the village, one of the girls (the six-year-old) who had escaped from the fields was found and she is doing fine,” Additional Superintendent of Police (Rural) Iraj Raja said.
The nine-year-old was found dead in the nearby sugarcane fields, Raja added. “Her body has been sent for post mortem. The accused has been arrested and has been sent for a medical exam. The accused was found in an inebriated state, and had a history of drug addiction as well. Further investigation is underway,” Raja said.
Earlier, Muniraj G, senior superintendent of police, said that the accused persuaded the girls to go along with him on his cycle. “The accused took the two girls to a field nearly 1-1.5 km away from the village. When the residents learnt that the girls were missing, they reported the incident to the police Thursday evening,” Muniraj said. Several police teams along with dog squads were used for the combing operation, Muniraj added.
An FIR under Section 363 (punishment for kidnapping) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) has been registered against the accused.
Once the post mortem report comes out, relevant provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, along with Section 376 (punishment for rape) of the IPC may be added to the FIR, police said.