Patna: A 14-year-old Dalit girl was allegedly raped and murdered for stealing a few mangoes from the orchard of a local villager in Bihar, triggering outrage in the Darbhanga district of India. Police have arrested one person in connection to the crime but the main accused has absconded.
Police said the girl had gone to an orchard belonging to an ex-army man Arjun Mishra, a resident of Pataur village, on Wednesday when she was caught and allegedly raped before being killed. The teenager’s temptation for the mangoes cost her her life.
The incident came to light after family members launched an extensive search when she didn’t return home after two hours. Eventually, they found her body lying near the bush in the orchard with a variety of mangoes. Subsequently, the girl’s father Ashok Paswan registered a case with the local police station.
“Victim’s father has alleged she was raped and murdered by the ex-army man for stealing a few mangoes from his orchard,” said local police official Mohamamd Jaja Ali who is investigating the case adding they have begun investigation into the matter. He said the main accused has been absconding after the incident although the police have arrested his wife.
The alleged rape-and-murder of the little girl sparked strong protests in the areas as an angry mob raided the house of the orchard owner and ransacked it, damaging much of its contents. Seeing the mood of the mob, the accused somehow fled the scene but his wife came in its grip. She was mercilessly thrashed by the mob until the police rescued her.
The irate mob also raided the orchard close to the home and ruthlessly cut down tree branches. Witnesses said each tree in the orchard was trimmed or broken and mangoes plundered. Police had a very tough time controlling the mob who went berserk for close to five hours.
The situation could be controlled only after the local district’s senior superintendent of police Babu Ram rushed to the spot and assured immediate arrest of the accused. The victim’s family was also immediately paid monetary compensation of Rs400,000 with the help from the police official to calm down the anger.
“The police will conduct a fair investigation into the case and the main accused will be arrested soon,” police official Ram said.
According to a report of the police department, close to 9,000 incidents of rape have been reported in the past seven years in Bihar. This year alone, as many as 404 incidents of rape have been reported only in the first four months itself.