The child, who went missing on July 4, was found unconscious near a water tank the next morning.

Representative image of a man standing in the background and a child in the foregroundImage for representation
news Crime Sunday, July 11, 2021 - 11:00

On the night of July 4, the Jawaharnagar police under Rachakonda police commissionerate received a complaint about a missing child, a three-and-half year old girl. Her father believed that she had been kidnapped by strangers that afternoon, when she had stepped out of their house in Dammaiguda, an outer suburb of Hyderabad located in Medchal-Malkajgiri district. Police found the girl the next morning, around 6 30am, lying unconscious near a water tank in the same locality where her family lived. A medical examination revealed that she had been sexually assaulted. A few days later, another incident was reported where an adult man behaved inappropriately with a nine-year-old girl, and ran away when she called for help. Police connected the two incidents and arrested a 40-year-old man in connection with both the cases. 

Special teams were formed after the three-and-half-year-old was found, to nab the perpetrator. As the investigation was in progress, on Friday, July 9, another incident of child sexual abuse was reported from Dammaiguda. On July 9 afternoon, a woman who ran a provisions store was at the store with her nine-year-old daughter, when a stranger wearing red clothes visited the shop, and allegedly touched her daughter inappropriately. The woman told the police that he ran from the shop towards a forest area when her daughter began to cry for help. 

Police found the identity of the accused based on CCTV footage and clues around the forest area where he was seen running away. They apprehended 40-year-old Abhiram Dass, a resident of Bandlaguda, on Saturday, July 10. According to police, Abhiram, who had migrated from Odisha to Hyderabad 12 years ago, had been working as a mason. He would allegedly target children and sexually assault them. Police said that he admitted to have taken the three-and-half-year-old girl to a nearby forest area on July 4 afternoon, raped her at night, and left her the next morning near the water tank. Further investigation will be continued after taking him into custody, police said. Abhiram has been booked under sections 376 (rape) and 363 (kidnapping) of the IPC (Indian Penal Code), and relevant sections of the POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act, 2012 in the case of the three-and-half-year-old. In the case of the nine-year old, he has been booked under section 354A (sexual harassment) of the IPC, and relevant sections of the POCSO Act.  

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