Alleged rape-murder of minor girl in Delhi: Rahul says ‘I stand with family’

Delhi’s shame: The girl had gone to get drinking water from a water cooler and did not return; her body was found and hastily cremated

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi with the family of the victim in Delhi, a city which ranked first among 19 cities in the country recording the highest number of crimes against women. Photo: Twitter

Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday (August 4) met the family of the minor Dalit girl who was allegedly raped and murdered in Delhi’s Cantonment area on Sunday (August 1). Her body was forcibly cremated.

“I spoke with the family… they want justice and nothing else. I told them I stand with them,” ANI quoted Rahul as saying.

“Her parents’ tears are saying only one thing — their daughter, the daughter of this country, deserves justice. And I am with them on this path of justice,” the Congress leader tweeted.

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The heinous crime has shamed the nation at a time India’s women Olympians have won medals for the country and won accolades for their brilliant performance.

Ingit Pratap Singh, the Deputy Commissioner of Police (South East Delhi), has told NDTV that the girl’s postmortem was inconclusive. The four men accused of the crime will now be put through polygraph (lie detector) and narcotics (drug) tests, he said.

He said an examination of the water cooler found an electric current was passing through the machine; this appears to support the claim of the accused that the girl died from an electric shock.

“Forensic examination of the water cooler found an electric current… Initially, the girl’s family said the death was due to electrocution. The accused have also admitted the death occurred due to electric current,” the senior cop said, adding the clothes of the accused would be subjected to tests.

“We will present the charge sheet very soon… we have 60 days to present it,” he said.

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The girl from a poor family had gone to the crematorium near her home to fetch drinking water from a cooler but did not return. Locals who knew the cremation ground priest, Radheshyam, called her mother to the crematorium and showed her the body. They claimed she had been electrocuted in an accident; there were burn marks on the wrist and elbow and the lips were blue, her mother had said.

The priest and his companions then told the mother not to inform the police suggested an immediate cremation. Later, however, the parents raised an alarm and the police were informed.

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The crime has drawn a parallel to the gang rape of a Dalit woman in Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras in September last year. The woman’s body too was cremated hurriedly with the help of the police who acted without her parents’ permission.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who has called for improvements to the city’s law and order situation, is also expected to meet the minor girl’s family, and has promised to help the family seek justice.

“The murder of a nine-year-old in Delhi…is very shameful. There is a need to improve the law and order situation… the culprits should be given capital punishment at the earliest,” Kejriwal tweeted.

Delhi is ranked first among 19 cities in India in recording the highest number of crimes against women, according to data released by the National Crime Records Bureau in October 2020.

The data reveals that the Capital accounted for nearly a third of the total number of such crimes. The data states that Delhi accounted for 28 per cent of the total figure, followed by Mumbai at 14.3 per cent and Bengaluru at 7.7 per cent.