Family members and villagers with the body of the girl. (Express Photo by Oinam Anand)
NEW DELHI: She might have walked home on Thursday night, safe in the company of her large family, but the 14-year-old was terribly tired after a long evening at the Azadpur Dussehra Mela in Delhi and begged a ride from her elder cousin who had brought along his bicycle.
Simmi (name changed) never made it home. A group of five, including her wayward neighbour, attacked them on the way near Singhu Border on NH-1. Her cousin was bludgeoned on the head and she was abducted, gang-raped, clobbered on the head, strangled with her own dupatta and buried 10km away from her house in Sonipat district of Haryana.
The perpetrators returned home, safe in the knowledge that Simmi was dead and her cousin hadn't had a chance to recognize them. But they were wrong. The youth had seen them and by 7am four of them were caught from their homes. The fifth, Simmi's neighbour and a juvenile, eluded police till evening before he was caught. Haryana Police said on Saturday all five suspects had confessed their involvement. During interrogation, they reportedly told police they killed Simmi, a Class 9 student, so that she wouldn't complain against them. A senior officer said they seemed remorseful "but it may be guilt about what they did or fear of the punishment they might get."
Simmi's family blames police for wasting time recording their statements rather than taking action. "Instead of taking us to the police station and questioning us, they should have started a search for my daughter. They might have prevented her murder at least," said her mother. The family had returned from the mela to the Delhi-Haryana border by bus, but as it was past 10pm, they couldn't find an auto to take them home.
The seven of them—Simmi and her three siblings with their parents, and a cousin—were walking home when they saw three youths drinking near the border. One of them was the juvenile, who cannot be named, and the other two were his friends Nitin and Parveen, residents of another village.
"We ignored them as they are known bad characters," said Simmi's mother. Then Simmi left with her cousin on his bicycle. But on the way they noticed an auto with some passengers trailing them. Simmi's cousin slowed down to let the auto pass.
"We started again, but near Saint Company, the auto came from behind and blocked our way. Without saying a word, one of the passengers hit me on the head with an iron rod. As I fell down, they dragged Simmi into the auto and drove away," he said. Simmi's parents found him lying in a pool of blood and he told them what had happened in a semi-conscious state.
After the suspects were caught on Friday, they led police to the spot where they had buried Simmi.
Her body was exhumed and sent for post-mortem, and then handed over to her family on Friday evening. Autopsy confirmed sexual assault, besides strangulation and head injury as the cause of her death. Two other suspects were identified as Karn and Deepak and they are from the same village as Nitin and Parveen, police said. All five suspects have been booked under the charges of kidnapping, gang rape and murder at Kundli police station. After a day's police custody, they were sent to judicial custody on Saturday.
Sonipat girl gang-raped & killedNitisha Kashyap, Oct 25, 2015