Sleeping 10-year-old girl abducted from her house, sexually assaulted and robbed in Kasaragod

Tyson – the Belgian Malinois tracker in the K9 Force – was pressed into service and he sniffed his way to a spot where his handlers found a Rs 50 note and a Rs 10 note. Fingerprint experts have taken the notes. Photo: Special Arrangement

Kasaragod: A 10-year-old girl sleeping in her house was abducted, sexually assaulted and abandoned one kilometre away in the early hours of Wednesday, said Hosdurg police. The assaulter also robbed two gold earrings the girl was wearing, said police and her family.

Initially, the police were investigating the incident as a case of abduction and robbery. Police have added charges of sexual assault in the FIR after the girl's medical report came in.

Hosdurg Station House Officer - Inspector Azad Marutherippoyil said Sections 3 (penetrative sexual assault) and Section 4 (punishment) of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act have been added to the FIR. According to Section 4 of the POCSO Act, whoever commits penetrative sexual assault on a child below 16 years of age shall face imprisonment for at least 20 years or imprisonment for life.

The other charges in the FIR are kidnapping (Section 363 of IPC), kidnapping with the intent to illegally detain (Section 365 of IPC) and voluntarily causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons or means (Section 326 of IPC).

The girl's father said the assaulter choked the girl with his bare hands to silence her and poked her eyes with his fingers. "There are injuries to her neck and eyes," he said. She is being treated in the District Hospital.

Hosdurg police called in the forensics team, dog squad and fingerprint experts to gather evidence and leads. Police suspect someone who knew the routine of the family.

The incident happened after 3 am when the girl's grandfather got out of the house to milk his three cows. He closed the door but left it unlocked, as was the practice. When he returned around 3.30 am, he found the girl missing from the bed, said Sumesh.

Usually, the girl sleeps with her grandmother. But on Tuesday, she was away. So she slept with her grandfather. Her father, mother, and her younger sister slept in another room of the same house.

The family found that the kitchen door was ajar. Police said the assaulter took the girl away through the kitchen door. The family and neighbours immediately launched a search in the locality.

Unknown to them, the assaulter had abandoned the girl on a paddy field by the roadside, 1km away. He had threatened to kill her if she raised an alarm.

After the assaulter left, she rang the calling bell of the nearest house. No one opened the door. She then knocked on the door of the next house. "That family took our daughter in. The girl told the family to take her to her father," said a police officer, who is part of the investigation. The girl could barely talk but she knew her father's phone number by heart.

Around 4.50 am, the girl's father got a phone call from that house.

Tracker Tyson -- the Belgian Malinois in the K9 Force -- was pressed into service. "By the time we reached the house, the neighbours had made a mess in the house. Since the girl hugs a doll while sleeping, we gave it to Tyson as a sample for her scent," said the tracker's handler.

The Belgian Malinois sniffed his way to farmland, 1km away, where police found a Rs 50 note and a Rs 10 note. The place was close to the house which let the girl in.

Police handed over the two currency notes to the fingerprint experts. "We made Tyson sniff the notes for more leads but he did not go any further," said the handler.

District Police Chief P Bijoy said the investigating team has started screening anti-social elements and residents of the area. "We don't have anything as of now to pinpoint anybody or rule out anybody," he said.

The comments posted here/below/in the given space are not on behalf of Onmanorama. The person posting the comment will be in sole ownership of its responsibility. According to the central government's IT rules, obscene or offensive statement made against a person, religion, community or nation is a punishable offense, and legal action would be taken against people who indulge in such activities.