The body of a 16-year-old girl, a daughter of a local BJP leader, was found suspended from a tree in Jharkhand’s District Palamu on 9 June. The girl’s right eye was gouged out before she was killed. Her family has alleged that she was gang-raped before being murdered.
The police have arrested a person, Pradeep Kumar Singh Dhanuk (23), as the prime suspect. He could have had accomplices, police say.
The girl, a resident of Budhabar village under the Panki police station, was the daughter of a local BJP leader. She was a student in the 10th grade. The girl’s body was cremated at the local crematorium on 9 June evening. She was the eldest of the BJP leader’s five children.
A preliminary analysis of call data records (CDR) of a mobile phone recovered from the scene of the crime has led to the arrest of one Pradeep Kumar Singh Dhanuk (23) in connection with the case. Dhanuk, the primary suspect, is a married man and could have had accomplices, said the police.
The girl’s family said that she went missing after leaving home at 10 AM on 7 June. Ashok Kumar, station in-charge (SI) of Panki police station, said the girl’s family had filed a missing persons complaint on 8 June. The Jharkhand Police were searching for her when locals found her body hanging from a tree in the forest near Budhabar village, he said.
The girl’s body was found suspended from a tree using a cloth, with her right eye gouged out. Officials suspect that she was mercilessly beaten before the culprits killed her and hung her body from a tree in order to make it appear like a case of suicide.
Palamu Superintendent of Police (SP) Sanjeev Kumar said the post-mortem report will establish whether this is a case of rape followed by murder.”
Jharkhand BJP spokesperson Pratul Shahdeo said the party would demand an independent probe if the police investigation were to be unable to quell the grieving family’s doubts.