The post-mortem report revealed that the girl, who had suffered severe injuries on her face and private parts, had been raped. (Representative Image)

By Jignasa Sinha

A 13-YEAR-OLD Dalit girl from West Delhi was allegedly raped and killed by a relative of her landlord, according to the victim’s parents and an FIR registered by police. The relative has been arrested and police said they are investigating the alleged involvement of the landlord and his wife in the case.

According to the girl’s father, the accused claimed that the girl had died due to illness and pressured him to cremate the body, until neighbours intervened and got him to call the police. The post-mortem report revealed that the girl, who had suffered severe injuries on her face and private parts, had been raped.

Speaking to The Indian Express, the victim’s father, who is a daily wage labourer, said that last month, on the recommendation of the landlord who “was like family”, he had allowed his daughter to go with the arrested accused Praveen to work at his home in Gurgaon.

“The landlord’s wife told me that her brother had a younger daughter and my daughter can play with her and stay with the family for some time. She took her on July 17,” the father stated in the FIR.

Speaking to this newspaper, he said that around 3 pm on August 23, he received a call from the landlord, saying his daughter had died of food poisoning. Four hours later, Praveen, the landlord’s wife and two others brought the girl’s body in a private ambulance to Delhi, he said.

The FIR states that the girl’s father was asked to perform his daughter’s final rites. “They had wood and pooja items, and they were ready to cremate her. We were clueless… Our neighbours stopped the cremation. They asked us to examine my daughter’s body. When we saw the body, we were shocked. She had injuries on her face and back. We didn’t know they would kill her. We got scared and called the police,” the father told this newspaper.

Doctors at Babu Jagjivan Ram Hospital, where the post-mortem was conducted, stated in the report that the girl died of “asphyxia consequent upon antemortem manual smothering”. The report stated that there is “positive evidence of vaginal and anal sexual assault” with all injuries being “antemortem” and “recent in duration”.

“The landlord and his wife lied to us. We respected them and they killed my daughter. I want them to be arrested. On Raksha Bandhan, I called and begged them to give me the address so that I could see my daughter but they refused. I wish I knew what they were doing to my daughter,” said the girl’s mother, who works as a domestic help.

The girl lived with her three younger siblings and parents, who hail from Bihar, at a rented accommodation.

A senior Delhi Police officer said: “We sent all details of the PCR call made by the family and post mortem to Gurgaon Police. It was found that the girl was sexually assaulted in Gurgaon and her body was brought to Delhi.”

ACP West, Gurgaon, Rajinder, said, “On the complaint of the parents, we registered a murder case against Praveen and his relatives. The girl’s body was sent for post mortem to a Delhi hospital. We received a report from them saying the girl was sexually assaulted. We have now registered a case under sections of rape and under POCSO Act. Praveen has been arrested.”

An FIR was registered in Gurgaon on August 25, initially under sections of murder and criminal conspiracy, and under the SC/ST Act.

“I last spoke to my daughter over the phone 10-15 days ago. She didn’t say much. I wish I could have done something then,” the father said.

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