New Delhi, April 16
A 14-year-old girl was allegedly abducted, gang-raped, tortured and strangled to death over a land dispute by a rival family in Bihar’s East Champaran district, police said on Monday, amid shock and outrage over the brutal gangrape and murder of a minor girl in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua across the country. Officials said the accused, residents of the same village as that of the girl, abducted her on Saturday when she went with her sister-in-law to relieve herself in the field near her village and dumped her body, which bore 52 injuries, near her house before fleeing. The girl’s sister-in-law managed to escape and reported the incident to the police, they added. However, by the time police swung into action, the accused had fled.
Sadar deputy superintendent of police (DSP) Pankaj Rawat said prima facie it seems to be an act of revenge. “The two families from a village in Sugauli police station area had been fighting over a disputed plot of land for the last several years. In 2015, the deceased girl’s father and brother were arrested in connection with a murder in the accused family. The duo is still in jail,” Rawat said.
“The girl’s sister-in-law, the lone witness of the case, has named 11 persons in the FIR. Most of the accused are from their rival family,” he said. The official added that the police were raiding several places in search of the accused. No one has been arrested so far.
Girls and women often end up paying for disputes between their families in Bihar. They have often been abducted, raped and killed in the countryside by rivals to settle scores. In East Champaran alone, 54 cases of rape have been reported in 2017 and many of them involved minors. The incident comes as the body of an identified minor girl was found in Gujarat’s Surat 11 days ago and police said on Sunday it had 86 injury marks and that she may have been tortured and raped prior to her murder. The girl believed to be between nine and 11 years old was strangled, they said. Protests have also erupted across the country over the gang-rape and murder of the eight-year-old girl in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua district. and the alleged rape of a teen by Uttar Pradesh’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator Kuldeep Singh Sengar.
New Delhi, April 16