A week after the shocking sexual assault and murder of a five-year-old girl in Chittoor's Madanapalle, police arrested a 25-year-old man on Saturday.
Last week, hours after she went missing from a wedding party, the child was found dead in mysterious circumstances near a function hall in Madanapalle Rural Police limits.
Based on the complaint filed by the deceased girl's parents, the police registered a case of murder under section 302 of the IPC and carried out the investigation.
The police used CCTV footage to crack the case. The footage allegedly shows the accused Patan Mohammed Rafi, known as Rafi, befriending the girl by clicking her photos and playing with her. The accused is a lorry cleaner.
The police then widely circulated the sketch of the suspect on local and social media to get clues.
District SP Senthil Kumar, while addressing the media, said, "Besides CCTV footage, our technical analysis, based on the inputs and information we received from locals, was used in catching the accused."
According to the police officer, the accused has a history of child sexual abuse. He added that the accused had allegedly befriended the girl with a "prior motive".
"After befriending her by clicking pictures on the mobile and becoming familiar with her, he followed the girl to the bathroom and sexually assaulted her. After she fainted and died, he disposed the body outside the function hall compound. He then came back and had food at the function hall like nothing had happened."
The police have now added sections for sexual assault under the POCSO Act. The District SP said that they're waiting for the FSL (Forensic Science Laboratory) report to arrive at the exact cause of death.
The case has attracted a lot of outrage from sections of society. State Women's Commission Chairperson Vasireddy Padma has visited the family members of the victim and urged investigating officials to speed up the probe.