Around 10.30 am on Monday, residents of the village in Kalaburgi had seen the girl walking with a 35-year-old man named Yellappa near the anganwadi. Yellappa had allegedly gone to the government school, where the girl studies in class 2 and had offered to buy her a chocolate. When the girl did not come home at 4.30 pm, her parents began worrying and went to the school to enquire about their daughter. The students and teachers allegedly told the girl’s parents that she had not come to school and assumed that she had taken a day off.
Her parents then rushed to the Sulepet Police station and filed a missing persons complaint. A team of six police officers then set out to look for the girl across the village and the outskirts, along the highway.
Meanwhile, the girl’s parents too formed a search party and the residents of the village began looking for the girl. Around 7.30 pm, residents who were carrying battery-operated LED lamps, found a dress, which looked like it belonged to a little girl, near a dilapidated plot next to the primary storm water drain.
They immediately alerted the police, who closed off the crime scene. Sulepet Police told TNM that the girl’s throat had been slit and that she was stabbed multiple times.Residents of the village informed the police that Yellappa was with the girl on Monday morning. “We found a pair of men’s underwear near the girl’s body. When we found Yellappa, he was near the village square. His clothes were bloody and he was drunk. He was drunk when he abducted the girl. We took him into custody and questioned him,” Sulepet Police told TNM.
Investigating officers say that Yellappa confessed to sexually assaulting and killing the girl. “When we arrested him, he kept saying that she did not listen to him. He was incoherent. After he became sober, we questioned him once more and he confessed to sexually assaulting and killing the girl,” the police added.
The Sulepet Police have booked Yellappa under section 302 (murder), 376 (rape) and sections 3(b)(2) (penetrative sexual assault) and 6 (aggravated penetrative sexual assault) of the POCSO Act. Yellappa is currently in police custody and will be produced before the magistrate on Tuesday evening.