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A 10-year-old girl, who lost her parents in last year's disaster in Uttarakhand and was wandering homeless, was repeatedly raped allegedly by a scrap dealer in Tehri district.
The matter came to light after the minor was found in Chamba recently and disclosed her ordeal to a woman constable, Tehri Superintendent of Police Mukhtar Mohsin said.
The accused Maniram, who hails from Koti village near Chamba in Tehri district, was arrested yesterday after a medical examination of the girl confirmed rape, he said.
He has been remanded in 14 days' judicial custody.
Taking serious note of the incident Chief Minister Harish Rawat has sought a report from DGP B S Sidhu on the case.
In her statement recorded before the Magistrate in Tehri, the victim who hails from a village in Rudraprayag district, said she had lost her home and her parents in last year's deluge at Kedarnath as her entire village had been washed away.
She was rescued by an army chopper and airlifted to Haridwar where she came into contact with a woman, who took her to Meerut and forced her into rag picking.
After staying there for months she escaped to Hardiwar and lived there as a beggar. A man named Ajay then brought her to Chamba in Tehri district where Maniram allegedly raped her, the SP said.
Being a minor, the victim has not been able to tell anything clearly about her village and her relatives, the official said.
All that the girl remembers is that she was grazing cattle in a field in Kedar valley on June 16-17 when the calamity struck and when she returned home she found her house razed to the ground and all her relatives including her parents missing, the SP said.
Police officials from Rudraprayag and Tehri are coordinating with each other to find out details of the case.