7-year-old Dalit girl sexually assaulted, killed in TN; CM announces solatium

Police have detained the girl's neighbour, a 25-year-old man, near Aranthangi in Pudukkottai district

According to police, the girl had gone missing while playing outside her house on June 30. Photo: iStock (Representational)

After the police detained a 25-year-old man for allegedly raping a seven-year-old Dalit girl, who was found dead near Aranthangi in Pudukkottai district of Tamil Nadu, Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami announced an ex-gratia amount of ₹5 lakhs to the family of deceased.

Preliminary investigation revealed that the detainee was a flower vendor in Yembal Melkudiyerupu village in Aranthangi and a neighbour of the girl.

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According to the police, the girl had gone missing while playing outside her house on June 30. Based on a complaint from her father, the police registered a case and were searching for her.

On Wednesday (July 01) evening, the police found the girl’s body in the bushes near a pond in the village. The police said her dress was torn and she had multiple injuries on the body. They suspected that she could have been sexually assaulted.

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The body was then sent for autopsy. “During the preliminary investigation, villagers said they had seen the man playing with the girl,” a senior official in Pudukkottai district said.

“Later, the man confessed that he had sexually assaulted the girl and killed her,” the official added. However, the police also suspect that the girl could have been gang-raped, as they wait for the autopsy reports.

The police have slapped IPC Section 302 (murder) and several sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. After the autopsy, the sections of the Act may be altered depending on the findings, the official said.

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