A Special Investigation Team probing the gang-rape of an eight-year-old girl in Madhya Pradesh’s Mandsaur on Tuesday filed a 500-page charge-sheet against the two accused. The two men were caught within 24 hours of the rape that has angered the nation.
The girl was raped on June 26 and the Special Investigation Team or SIT was formed four days later. Senior police official Rakesh Mohan Shukla, who headed the SIT along with 10 members in his team, told NDTV, “In the Mandsaur gang-rape case, we have submitted the charge-sheet against the accused Irfan and Asif. The POCSO court has taken cognizance. The police has also recorded statements of 92 witnesses.”
The accused have been booked under Indian Penal Code sections 376 (d) (gang-rape), 366 (kidnapping, abducting or inducing woman to compel her marriage), 363 (kidnapping) and relevant sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
In addition to physical evidence, the SIT has also included hair samples of the accused, CCTV footage and videos. The case will now be heard almost on a daily basis.
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, while demanding death penalty for the two accused, has also said that the case will be heard in a fast track court. He also wrote a letter to Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra seeking his intervention for the timely disposal of such cases in High Courts and the Supreme Court.
According to the police, the Class 2 student was taken away by the two accused, Irfan and Asif, when she was outside her school on Tuesday, waiting for her parents to pick her up. The men gang-raped her and tortured her before slitting her throat and walking away, leaving her to die. The child is still in hospital.
The police zeroed in on the two after examining photographs and CCTV footage from the neighbourhood. Officers zoomed in on footage in which the child was seen walking with a man and noticed the brand of his new shoes.
The eight-year-old is currently undergoing treatment at a hospital in Indore, where her condition is improving. The girl had suffered severe injuries to her neck, face, head and private parts in the incident.