The courage and presence of mind of an 11-year-old victim of sexual assault helped the Saki Naka police identify and apprehend the accused within 24 hours.
The police said that the victim and her friend gave an almost accurate description of the accused and the spot where the offence took place. The police said the victim and her friend were returning home after attending a garba event on Wednesday when the accused accosted them. He slapped the friend and abducted the victim. He then indulged in unnatural intercourse with her.
The Saki Naka police said the victim on reaching home reported the incident to her parents, who took her to the police station. N.D. Reddy, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone X), said, “The friend also came to the police station and we made a sketch of the accused within a few hours. The victim said she was assaulted in a tempo, indicating the accused could be a tempo driver.”
Mr. Reddy said several teams were sent in search of tempo drivers who parked their vehicles in the area. With the help of informants, several tempo drivers were picked up for inquiries. An officer said, “It took us a few hours to nab him. He was arrested after inquires proved he was the accused.”
Mr. Reddy said the accused was identified as Siraj Khan (30), and denied reports that he was under the influence of narcotics. He said, “Inquiries so far have not revealed any past cases against the accused.”
Mr. Khan has been charged with rape and unnatural intercourse under the Indian Penal Code, and aggravated sexual assault on a minor under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act. He was produced in court on Friday and remanded in police custody till October 26.
Deven Bharti, Joint Commissioner of Police (Law and Order), said, “The victim and her friend, despite their age and trauma they faced, showed great courage. The incident highlights the importance of prompt reporting of cases to the police. It enables us to set the law in motion and allows swift detection of crime.”