The Tamil Nadu Police said on Friday (July 16) that an eight-year-old girl was killed for allegedly asking her neighbour to switch on the television.
Two people have been arrested in connection with the case.
Addressing reporters, Tuticorin senior police officer S Jayakumar said, “Two people have been arrested. The incident had taken place around 11:30 am – 12.00 pm. We received the information around 2:30 pm and within a few hours, we caught the perpetrators.
“That person used to have an argument with this father and the same thing had taken place on Wednesday morning. The accused have accepted the crime. The body of the girl has been sent to Tirunelveli Government Medical College Hospital for postmortem. Further investigation is underway,” he said, according to The Indian Express.
The police officers said the girl lived with her single mother, who was a daily wage worker, in Tuticorin district.
The Class 3 student used to visit her neighbour to watch TV, the police said.
During one such visit on Wednesday (July 15), the child had asked the neighbour to switch on the TV while he was arguing with his father over an issue.
The man had strangled the child in a fit of rage after she asked him to switch on the TV, and proceeded to hide the girl inside a plastic drum and covered the lid, according to the police.
An hour later, the man went to a bridge near his house and dumped the girl’s body into the water. An eyewitness who saw the body fall into the water informed the police immediately, after which the girl’s body was retrieved from the water.
The police said the man and his friend, who had helped carry the drum to the bridge, have been arrested.
A police officer said they were waiting for the autopsy report to see if there was also an issue of sexual assault. “We’ve filed a case of murder besides invoking sections under POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act,” Jayakumar told NDTV.
According to The Indian Express, relatives of the girl and other villagers claimed that the perpetrators were under the influence of drugs and that the girl had been sexually assaulted. However, Tuticorin police have not confirmed these allegations.