Girl found dead may have been locked, tortured, raped: Surat cops

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While India was still grappling with the horrific reality of the brutal gangrape and murder of an eight-year-old child in Jammu and Kashmir's Kathua and the alleged rape of a minor by a BJP MLA in Uttar Pradesh's Unnao, another gruesome incident of alleged rape and murder of a minor has been reported, this time from Gujarat's Surat.

The body of the unidentified girl was found near a cricket field in Bhestan area of Surat on April 6.

According to Padesara police inspector KB Jhala the girl's picture had been circulated on social media platforms to avail her identity.

While the police had earlier said that a body of a girl had been found, details of the case were made public today with Surat Police Commissioner Satish Sharma holding a press conference. According to sources, the police has already seen profiles of about 8,000 girls, who have gone missing from different states.

Police were first alerted by a Pandesara resident whose wife and a neighbour had spotted the body in the bushes during their morning walk on 6 April.

"1200 posters have been posted across Surat for identification of girl". Already the police have announced Rs 20,000 reward for anyone coming forward to give information about the girl. "We will ensure justice for the girl". Her body bore 86 injury marks, including in private parts. "Samples have been taken for forensic test to ascertain whether she was drugged or not".

"Going by the nature of the injuries, they seem to be caused in the period ranging from one week to one day prior to the recovery of the body, suggesting that the girl might have been held captive, tortured and possibly raped", said Dr Govekar. "It has come to the notice of the Surat Police that some people are sharing a photo of the dead body of a young girl from Gujarat and saying that an ABVP linked person raped her". The case was transferred to the Crime Branch on Sunday.

Amid widespread anger and protests across the country over the Kathua and Unnao rape and murder cases, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on Friday said such incidents could not be part of any civilised society and promised to make sure that the culprits do not get away.

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