6-year-old girl was abducted, raped and had eyes gouged out so she couldn't identify assaulter, say police
Police in India have launched a manhunt for a suspect who they said abducted a six-year-old girl outside her home, raped her, and then damaged her eyes so she would not be able to identify him.
The horrific incident unfolded in the state of Madhya Pradesh this past Wednesday, April 22, according to India Today.
The young girl had disappeared from her home that evening while she was playing outside and was found unconscious the next morning in an abandoned building a few kilometers away. Her hands and legs had been tied with a rope, said Damoh district police who are probing the case.
A preliminary investigation revealed that the child may have been raped. It also found that the suspect had tried to gouge out both of her eyes, seemingly in an attempt to stop her from recognizing him. A local doctor said that the victim's eyes were so swollen that her retinas could not be checked and the damage done to them was still currently unclear.
"We found that her eyes were damaged by the accused, who also inflicted injuries on her face," district superintendent Hemant Chauhan told the Press Trust of India (PTI) news agency. "Doctors are operating on her eyes."
He also announced that they had formed a special team to investigate the crime and offered a reward of 10,000 rupees ($131) for any information that would help them nab the culprit. "The victim is in a critical condition and has been taken to Jabalpur for medical treatment," he said. "We have formed an SIT to investigate the crime and have announced a reward of Rs 10,000 for anyone who provides any kind of information that could lead police to the accused."
The incident drew the attention of Madhya Pradesh's former Chief Minister Kamal Nath, who demanded justice for the victim while simultaneously taking a dig at the law and order situation in the state.
"Shivraj Singh Ji what is happening in Madhya Pradesh? Where is the law and order situation going in one month of your rule?" he tweeted, questioning the current Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan.
"In Damoh's Jabra, there is also the matter of damaging both eyes and cruelty against an innocent girl," he continued. "Such a brutal, cruel incident, that too during the lock-down, where the common man is not able to go out of the house even for the essential goods, the criminals are roaming freely in the state and rape, murder, farmer murders, firing, knife incidents continue."
"Even innocent girls are not safe? The accused of this important incident of Damoh should be apprehended soon, strict action should be taken against them, the government should treat the innocent girl child, help the family in every possible way and strict action should be taken against the guilty."
The attack on the six-year-old was the second such attack in the state during what is the world's most extensive lockdown. Last week, a visually challenged banker had been raped inside her house in Bhopal. Police are yet to make any arrests in the case.