Missing schoolgirl found dead in drain near house in Puducherry, two suspects detained

The child, who went missing on March 2, was last seen playing with her friends outside her house.
Silhoutte of a girl child in a red dress
Silhoutte of a girl child in a red dress(Representative Image)
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The body of a nine-year-old girl was discovered in a decomposing state in a drain close to her house on the afternoon of March 5, Tuesday, in Sholai Nagar of Muthialpet in Puducherry. A Class 5 student at a government school in Sholai Nagar, the child went missing on March 2, after she was last seen playing with her friends outside her house. 

The child’s parents Narayanan and Mythili noticed she was missing by night and started to search for the girl. When they were unable to find her, Narayanan approached the Muthialpet police station and lodged a complaint around 10.20 pm. 

The Muthialpet police subsequently formed a special team and secured CCTV footage from the entire locality, but found no footage to indicate the girl went out of the locality. Finally, after a search operation that spanned two days, a few neighbours and the police found her body wrapped in a bedsheet-like material inside a drain, a few metres away from her house. Her hands and legs were tied using a coir thread. The police recovered her body and sent it to the Indira Gandhi Government College and Research Institute mortuary. Doctors at the Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER) will perform the post-mortem. 

Tension prevailed among Sholai Nagar residents on March 5 after the body was found. They picketed at MG Road and protested against the police’s alleged inaction in the case, alleging that the police’s negligence caused the death of the child. 

Speaking to TNM, a Muthialpet police source said a case of kidnap was registered under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) as soon as her father lodged a complaint. “After we found her body, the sections were altered to IPC Section 302, which stipulates the punishment for murder,” he said. While discussing the cause of the death, the police source said only a post-mortem exam could assert if the girl was subjected to sexual assault, or any other possible reasons for the death. 

Muthialpet police had detained five suspects and let them go after the investigation. They later arrested two residents of the locality, Karunas (19) and Vivekanandan(56), in connection with the girl’s death. Meanwhile, the Puducherry government announced Rs 20 lakh ex gratia to the family of the girl.  

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