Pudhukottai police are on the hunt to secure rape accused Raja who escaped from police custody on Thursday morning. Close to 100 police personnel split into 10 different teams are scouring the district to find 25-year-old Raja who gave them a slip when he was taken to the Pudukottai government medical college and hospital for a court-ordered medical check-up. Raja has been accused in the brutal rape and murder of a seven-year-old Dalit child from Yembal, Aranthangi in the district.
It was around 8.30 am on Thursday and Raja who had asked to use the bathroom, never returned. Speaking to TNM, an official from Pudukottaiâ€™s Superintendent of Police office says, â€śWe have a lot of officers on field searching for him. It is still ongoing.â€ť Raja was arrested on July 1, the day the childâ€™s body was found with injuries, lying among bushes.
The seven-year-old had gone missing from her house in Yembal on June 30, following which her parents lodged a complaint with the police. Raja, a flower seller and also their neighbour was arrested by the police on July 1 and he reportedly confessed to the crime. Raja has been accused of taking the child to a secluded spot where he had raped and murdered her. He then disposed off her body by the bushes, allege the police.
Raja was booked under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Pocso) Act and SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act, 2018. He was also charged under sections 376 (rape), 302 (murder), 364 (abduction) and 201 (misleading the police) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
The crime was condemned by many and National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) too suo moto cognisance of the case and initiated its probe. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami had announced a solatium of Rs 5 lakh to her family.