Bhopal, April 21: On Friday, when the Centre told the Supreme Court that the process to amend the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012 has been launched, and the special legislation would include death penalty as punishment for raping children under 12, a six-month-old infant was raped and killed in Madhya Pradesh's Indore.
The blood-soaked body of the baby girl was recovered from the basement of a building in Indore, a police official said on Friday. The police identified the accused as Sunil Bheel (21), claiming that he was seen in CCTV footage, at around 4.45 am on Friday, carrying the infant on his shoulder.
The post-mortem of the infant, which was carried out at the state-run MY Hospital in Indore, suggested that she might have been raped before being killed as her private parts bore an injury mark, an official said.
"The body of the infant was recovered from the basement of a commercial building in Rajwada area. The accused, Sunil Bheel, had kidnapped her early on Friday morning when she was asleep with her parents outside the Rajwada Fort. The accused was sleeping close to the family," said HC Mishra, deputy inspector-general of police, Indore.
The accused and the infant's parents knew each other and were in the business of selling balloons, Mishra added. "The accused was seen carrying the infant in CCTV images of around 4:45am on Friday. He then took her to the basement of the building, some 50 metres away from where the family was sleeping, and her body was recovered in the afternoon," he said.
"The infant had an injury on her head. The accused probably threw her to the ground. However, only the post-mortem report will verify if she died due to this or whether she was smothered," Mishra said."We are going to arrest the accused shortly," he added.
Reports stated that two more minor girls were raped and killed in Uttar Pradesh and Chhattisgarh in two separate incidents in the last few days. There seems to be no end to rape and killing of girls/infants across the country.
An alarming rise in rape cases, especially of minor girls, has shocked the nation. According to data released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), 43.2 per cent of rape cases in India in 2016 involved girls under the age of 18 years.
The two cases--the gang-rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua by eight persons and rape of a 16-year-old teenager by BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar in Uttar Pradesh's Unnao--brought into focus the barbaric nature of crimes against girls.