The youth arrested for rape and murder of the minor girl in Punjab's Hoshiarpur was known to the girl's family for years.
On October 21 a 6-year-old was raped, killed and then set on fire by the youth who has been arrested in Hoshiarpur's Tanda. The police found the victim's half-burnt body.
The victim was the daughter of a migrant labourer who was living in the same village. According to the father, the 20-year-old youth, Gurpreet allegedly took the girl to his home and raped her. Later, the youth and his grandfather reportedly killed her and then burnt her body. Her half-burnt body was found in the building where the family kept cattle and farm essentials.
Gurpreet, along with his 80-year-old grandfather Surjit Singh have been arrested on charges of murder, rape and other relevant sections of the IPC and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, reported Hindustan Times.
The accused was well known to the family of the victim and was treated as an elder brother figure the five sisters. The 6-year-old had been tying Rakhi to the 20-year-old for years.
Hailing from Bihar's Bhagalpur district, the 40-year-old labourer's family had been staying in Punjab for almost two decades, in a rented place. The occasionally worked in Surjit's fields and home. The family knew the Gurpreet ever since his birth, reported Indian Express.
The body of the victim was discovered on October 21, hours after she went missing. Her 9-year-old sister was with her at the time Gurpreet visited their place, while the other family members were out for work. The accused took the child saying that he would buy her biscuits. When asked, Gurpreet's family said they had no clue about her whereabouts.
The family kept looking for her, and around 5 pm, Surjit came to the house and told them the girl's body was in their 'haveli' and that she had set herself on fire. The family questioned how a child could have done that before they finally found out the truth.
A woman has testified on seeing Surpreet with the minor, and footage from CCTV cameras outside the area showed him with her.
The victim was the youngest of the five other daughters, who are 20, 19, 13, 11 and 9. "We couldn't go to Gurpreet's place this time for Rakhi due to the coronavirus. So he came home to get it tied," the elder sister told the media.
The sisters never faced any misbehaviour from Surpreet earlier; however, they found it strange after the accused started visiting their place more than occasional visits, and there was a certain change in his behaviour.