Delhi Dalit girl rape case: Mere days after the Delhi Police started an investigation into the alleged rape and murder of a nine-year-old Dalit girl in Delhi’s Purani Nangal village, the case was recently transferred to Crime Branch. The investigators from the crime branch are now probing whether the minor was raped before she was forcibly cremated by the accused. Nangal village is located in southwest Delhi crematorium. The new team on Thursday visited the crime scene in the village and said that they will seek the remand of the prime accused to conduct a DNA test, polygraph test and narco-analysis.
Trigger Warning: This article contains graphic details.
Four suspects, including the priest and three male employees at the Old Nangal crematorium near Delhi Cantonment have been arrested in connection with the case. The arrested men can agree to take the lie-detector test or refuse it, the investigators on Friday said, adding that a refusal is generally considered a way to avoid telling the truth. The challenging part for the police will now be to determine sexual assault, considering that the girl’s body was cremated allegedly without family members’ consent. Only few remains of body, including her burnt feet were found at the crime scene, according to the Delhi Police.
The incident has sparked a nationwide outrage, both online and offline, triggering protests by civil society groups, more than 200 villagers and activists. The parents of the nine-year-old girl attended the protests as well.
On Sunday evening, the minor girl went to get some water from a water cooler installed inside the crematorium and half an hour later, the 55-year-old priest, Radhe Shyam and the three others, 55-year-old Mohammad Salim, 49-year-old Laxmi Narayan and 63-year-old Kuldeep called her mother to show her their daughter’s body. They alleged the girl died of electrocution while fetching water from the cooler.
The four arrested suspects also stand accused of cremating the child’s body forcibly and were arrested after her family reported the matter on Sunday night. Police also informed that the family expressed suspicions that the girl may have been sexually assaulted and murdered since the suspects insisted on cremated the body of the girl as quickly as possible. Her mother had allegedly spotted multiple injury marks on her body. The DNA profiling of the arrested persons and other scientific evidence collected in the case are considered the main evidence now, said a senior crime branch officer.
Officials working in the case said the forensic team has seized materials from the room of one of the accused, a priest, and those will be examined for traces of blood, skin cells and hair using DNA profiling.
Many also compared the incident to Hathras case, in which a 19-Dalit girl was allegedly forcefully cremated by the local authorities after she passed away while being treated for an alleged gangrape by four upper-caste men. The deceased’s family accused local authorities of forcing them to cremate her, even when they insisted on performing the required rituals next morning. Read more here.
Feature Image Credit: Hindustan Times