Angry protesters blocked the streets of a town and raised slogans demanding strict action against the accused for the heinous crime.

Locals take to streets in Andhras Guntur district after rape of 7-yr-old
news Crime Wednesday, January 30, 2019 - 14:52

Anger spilled out on to the streets of a town in Andhra Pradesh's Guntur district after the rape of a 7-year-old child on Tuesday night. Locals marched in protest, raised slogans and blocked the main road of the town, demanding justice. Some slogans also demanded that the accused be hanged for the heinous crime. The police later stepped in to diffuse the situation.

The incident came to light after locals lodged a complaint with the police on Tuesday night claiming that the accused, Jayaraj, in a drunken state, allegedly cornered the minor and raped her. He also reportedly threatened her against speaking about what happened. The 7-year-old is presently undergoing treatment at a hospital and her condition is said to be stable.

Speaking to TNM, a Sub-Inspector from the police station said, "The incident took place last night after a man in his 30s from the village cornered a 7-year-old and sexually assaulted her. A case was filed on Tuesday night itself, as soon as we received a complaint. However, locals took to the streets of the town in the morning to express their anger. The situation is now under control."

"A case has been registered against the accused for kidnapping besides Section 376 (Rape) of the Indian Penal Code and relevant sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. We are investigating the case to ascertain what happened. Strict action will be taken," he added. 

While the police are yet to confirm the accused's arrest, TNM has learnt that he has been detained by the police. 

Andhra Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu has also reportedly taken note of the incident and ordered the district collector and superintendent of police to ensure that swift action is taken in the case.

This is far from the first time that such an incident is taking place. The anger, especially against the district administration, comes as Guntur district witnessed a spate of rape cases last year.  

In May last year, the rape of the minor girl had triggered massive protests in Dachepalli. Protesters had pelted stones on buses and vehicles, vandalised the accused’s home and even called for a bandh. Additional security forces were deployed which managed to control the violence.

Both, Leader of Opposition YS Jaganmohan Reddy and Jana Sena Party chief and actor-politician Pawan Kalyan, had condemned the incident. Chief Minister Naidu had even made a personal visit to the hospital and met the survivor and her family. 

A day after the incident, the accused killed himself near a temple in Girzala mandal after expressing remorse in his last phone conversation.

However, just days after that crime, another case had come to light where a 14-year-old minor girl was allegedly repeatedly raped and impregnated in the district.

This was followed by another incident where an alleged attempt to sexually assault a 10-year-old resulted in residents blocking a road near a police station in the district, pelting stones and injuring some police officials.

 

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