In a harrowing incident that has sent shockwaves through the city, two minor Dalit girls fell victim to a brutal gang rape in the Hinduni Badhar neighbourhood of Patna, with one of them succumbing to the heinous crime. The deceased, aged between 8-10 years, and the survivor, critically injured at 12 years old, were attacked on January 8 while collecting cow dung cakes.
The Bihar police are facing mounting pressure as they grapple with the investigation, struggling to make any significant headway in identifying the perpetrators behind the appalling crime. The identity of the accused remains shrouded in mystery, intensifying the public outcry.
The incident unfolded against the backdrop of a major protest by enraged villagers who blocked the Patna Ara highway for six hours on January 10, demanding justice for the victims. Protests subsequently erupted in Patna’s Phulwari Sharif area, reflecting the community’s anguish and frustration.
According to officials, the girls were reported missing on January 8, prompting concerns from family members when they failed to return home. Despite reaching out to the Phulwari Sharif police station, no immediate action was taken. Tragically, on January 9, villagers discovered the lifeless body of one girl alongside the unconscious body of the other in a field. Both had been subjected to a brutal gang rape, their bodies stained with blood.
The family, shocked and devastated by the news, rushed to the scene, prompting locals to alert the authorities. The police, arriving promptly with a contingent, took control of the crime scene, initiating a post-mortem examination on the deceased victim. The injured girl was swiftly transported to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Patna, where she remains unconscious and under critical medical care.
Additional Superintendent of Police Phulwari Sharif, Vikram Sihag, provided updates on the distressing case involving the gang rape and murder of two minor Dalit girls in Patna. Sihag revealed that the body of one of the girls was discovered on the second day after their disappearance, while the other is currently receiving treatment at AIIMS, Patna, due to severe injuries sustained during the assault.
Specialised teams, including the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) unit and the dog squad, have been deployed to facilitate the investigation. Sihag assured the public that the guilty parties would soon be taken into custody, emphasising the police’s reliance on medical reports that are still pending. Blood traces, identified with the aid of search dogs, have already been marked as evidence, and various materials have been collected from the crime scene.
The official informed that a comprehensive case has been filed under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, along with relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code, including 302 (murder), 376AB (rape on a woman under twelve years of age), 307 (attempt to murder), and 120B (criminal conspiracy). This legal action is based on the statement provided by the mother of the victims.
While autopsy and medical examination reports are pending, Sihag stated that more details would become available once the unconscious girl regains consciousness. However, public anger is escalating as the perpetrators remain unidentified and at large. Local residents staged a protest, demanding the death penalty for the accused and accusing the Phulwari Sharif police of negligence. The protest escalated to the point where they surrounded the police station, set tires on fire, and obstructed traffic in the vicinity.
In a heart-wrenching revelation, the mother of one of the victims criticised the police response on the day of the incident. She disclosed that she sought assistance in finding the missing girls, but the officials instructed her to search the locality herself. She asserted that if the police had responded promptly, the barbaric incident could have been prevented, saving the lives of the two friends. The community awaits justice as authorities intensify their efforts to apprehend the culprits and provide answers in this deeply distressing case.
Angered over the shocking incident, the residents of Phulwari Sharif and nearby villages held a protest demanding justice for the victims. “The culprits must be arrested and punished soon or else we will continue to hold protests. This is a gruesome incident,” a villager said.
As the community grapples with the gravity of the incident, questions loom over the authorities’ ability to bring the perpetrators to justice and provide solace to the grieving family. The lack of progress in identifying the accused intensifies the urgency for a thorough and swift investigation to address the growing concerns among the public.