10-year-old girl from Bhandup found dead on railway tracks

Mumbai: A 10-year-old mentally challenged girl, who was reported missing on November 5 from Rajiv Gandhi Nagar in Bhandup, was found dead, in a semi-clad state on the railway tracks near Vidyavihar railway station on Saturday.

The postmortem report has revealed the cause of death as strangulation with sexual assault, said a senior police official. Bhandup police have arrested a 20-year-old youth for the minor’s kidnapping, rape, murder and causing disapperance of evidence and booked him under relevant sections of IPC and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act.

The 10-year-old girl was playing in the neighbourhood of Rajiv Gandhi Nagar, when she had reportedly gone missing. According to police, the minor girl was allegedly seen going with the main suspect, Ajit Kumar Rai, on November 5, at around 11.30 am, which was captured in the CCTV camera footage of the area.

When the girl did not return home, her parents began the search but she could not be found. The girl's parents then approached the Bhandup police station and registered a case of kidnapping against unknown persons.

Police then scoured the CCTV camera footage, where Rai was seen escorting the mentally challenged girl from the area. Locals and the police began looking out for the youth while searching for the girl, but could not locate him.

A neighbour of the girl said that on November 8 Rai was seen leaving from a local shop in Bhandup and roaming in the neighbourhood. He was immediately caught by the residents, who allegedly found a knife, a bottle of phenyl and a brush from his bag. Locals beat Rai and later handed him over to the Bhandup police, who arrested him on Sunday.

Around the midnight of November 8, Bhandup police received a tip-off about a body found on the railway tracks near Vidyavihar railway station.

Tilak Nagar police alerted Bhandup police, who sent a team to Rajawadi Hospital to identify the body. Police identified the body as that of the missing girl from Bhandup, which sparked a public outrage.

A local resident from Bhandup said that the girl was found in a semi-clad state.

A postmortem conducted at Rajawadi Hospital revealed that the girl was strangled to death and was sexually assaulted. Bhandup Police are investigating the case.