A 9-year-old boy child from Mannanayakana Koppa village in Karnataka's Haveri district was killed on Tuesday, after being allegedly sexually abused by a man from the same village.
The accused is 42-year-old Subhash Agasimani, a farmer who resides in the same village. The boy, a student of Class 3, had gone to a house in the village to attend a feast. He went back home to fetch a container to take away some mutton curry. However, by the time the boy reached back to the venue of the feast, the curry was over and he had to return empty handed.
While the boy was on his way back home on foot, the accused Subhash approached him on a motor bike and offered to get him some curry. The boy then agreed to go with Subhash. Bankapur police told The News Minute that Subhash took the boy child to Rajiva Nagara forest area, some 3 kilometres away from the village and allegedly raped him.
"Subhash smashed the boy's private parts, strangulated him and killed him. We suspect that the boy died out of asphyxiation, though we are waiting for forensic and post-mortem reports to ascertain the cause of death," Bankapur Police Inspector Anjaneya said.
The incident came to light, when the boy's father, also a farmer, approached the police at around 8 pm on Tuesday night.
"The boy's father came to the station to file a missing person's complaint and also said that he suspects the involvement of Subhash in the boy's disappearance. This was because Subhash was a habitual offender, who has previously sexually abused many boy children in the village. A few villagers had also seen the boy riding pillion on Subhash's motorbike, before he was reported missing," the police said.
The police arrested Subhash from his house the same night, who then confessed to raping and killing the boy. A police team then recovered the boy's body from the forest area.
While a case was registered against Subhash for kidnap (section 363) and under provisions of POCSO at the time of filing the complaint, the police added sections 302 (murder), 201 (destruction of evidence), 377 (unnatural sex) of IPC and Sections 4, 6 and 12 of POSCO after recording his voluntary statement.
After being produced before the District Additional Sessions Court on Wednesday, Subhash was remanded to judicial custody for a period of 14 days. He is currently lodged in Haveri district sub-jail, said police.
The police said that Subhash's wife and his three children were living in the wife's house since a couple of years.
Although villagers told police that Subhash was a habitual offender, the police say that no complaint has been filed against the accused in any other cases so far.
Inspector Anjaneya says that the lack of awareness about child sexual abuse has prevented parents from complaining against Subhash.
"Once the schools re-open, we are planning to organise awareness campaigns in schools," he added.