In an incident that sent shockwaves across Navi Mumbai, a five-year-old girl, who had gone missing on Tuesday evening, was found dead outside her residence in Vashi in the early hours of Wednesday. Medical reports say the child was raped. The police are interrogating the building watchman where the child used to stay with her parents.
The police said the girl’s parents returned home from work on Tuesday evening to find their child missing. Her two brothers were playing with their friends some distance away from the residence and didn’t know where she was. The parents lodged a complaint with the APMC police late on Tuesday night.
“They returned home at around 2:30 am on Wednesday and found her dead body near their house. They rushed back to the police station to inform us and we sent a team with them. The victim’s body was taken to the Navi Mumbai municipal hospital for autopsy,” said a police officer.
The police began the probe working on the assumption that the accused could be a resident of the same locality and would have known when the victim would be alone in the house.
Meanwhile, the hospital sent its preliminary medical report to the police late on Wednesday night. “The reports have confirmed that the victim was raped. We have registered a complaint of murder and rape under the Indian Penal Code and relevant sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act,” said Navi Mumbai Police Commissioner A K Sharma.
Opinion on cause of death has been withheld pending further examination.
“We suspect that she was strangled to death. Apart from the injuries to the victim’s private parts and some bruises near the mouth, there were no other external injuries,” Sharma said.