A five-year-old Dalit girl, who was abducted, raped and murdered on Friday (7 June) by a 19-year-old youth whom she knew and referred to as uncle, in Ujjain. On 7 June, the accused Shiva Rao Maratha abducted the girl from her shanty, raped her and then bludgeoned her to death to hide any evidence of his misdeed.
The state has been seeing an increase in rape cases over the last few years, with Madhya Pradesh Police data showing an increase in total rape cases from 4,319 in 2015 to 4,882 in 2016 and 5,148 in 2017.
The father of the victim, a brick kiln worker, had lodged a complaint with the police on 7 June stating that her daughter was missing since the early morning. It was in the afternoon on the same day that the disfigured body of the victim was found floating in the holy river Kshipra.
Sachin Atulkar, the Superintendent of Police (SP) of Ujjain, said, “A special investigation led by additional SP Neeraj Pandey was formed. An intensive search operation was carried out, following which the body (of the victim) was recovered.”
The girl had gone to sleep with her parents and two other siblings. It was her father who noticed that the girl was missing on 7 June morning. The father works at a brick kiln located on the banks of river Kshipra near the temple of Bhukhi Mata. With meagre pay in hands, he used to live in a hut that did not have doors to close at night.