One held for rape, murder of 10-year-old in Bhopal

The accused is learnt to have been the victim s neighbour.

A labourer has been arrested for allegedly raping and murdering a 10-year-old girl and dumping her body in a sewer in Bhopal late on Saturday.

While the Opposition BJP has accused the Congress government in Madhya Pradesh of failing to improve the law and order situation, Chief Minister Kamal Nath has said a chargesheet in the case will be filed within 48 hours and the state government will try to ensure that the accused gets strict punishment within a month.

The police said the accused was arrested from a bus stand at Mortakka in Khandwa district. In his 30s, the accused allegedly fled Bhopal hours after the girl went missing and her family members started looking for her. The accused is learnt to have been the victim s neighbour.

Seven police officers have been suspended for dereliction of duty after the victim s family members alleged that the police turned them away twice when they approached them. Relatives and neighbours gheraoed the police station on Monday.

Ujjain SP Sachin Atulkar said the police will file a chargesheet in the case soon after getting a DNA report from the forensic science laboratory.

Former chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan visited the victim s family on Monday. Alleging that the law and order situation in the state had deteriorated, he said the BJP will take to the streets if steps are not taken to stop sexual assaults on minors. He alleged that police failed to act quickly, saying that it was height of insensitivity .

Chouhan said the monetary assistance of Rs 5 lakh announced by the state government was inadequate and that the victim s parents demand that the accused be hanged.

Chief Minister Kamal Nath s media coordinator Narender Saluja accused the BJP of playing politics over a sensitive issue like rape of minors.