A 29-year-old man, Pritam Sharma, who has been arrested by police on the charges of sexual assault and murder of an 11-year-old girl has been taken into fourteen day police remand.
He was produced in the court today.
Sikkim police today held a press conference and informed that it took 72 hours to crack the cold-blooded murder mystery.
According to the police, a missing case was reported by the mother of the victim on April 11 at Gangtok Police station when she did not return home from the school.
Four days later, a villager spotted a decomposed body in a forest near Lingdok village. He immediately informed the police at Lingdok Out Post, who then informed Gangtok police station.
The parents identified the body as their daughter, with a necklace she was wearing.
The Police immediately formed a Special Investigating Team headed by the senior police officials personally monitored by the DGP.
Sikkim police reviewed CCTV footage of the area where the victim was seen boarding a taxi to go home. The prime suspect was identified as Pritam Sharma a 29-year-old taxi driver originally a Bihar resident currently residing at Tathangchen. The police tracked down Sharma and interrogated, who later confessed to ‘having sex with the minor and murdering her out of fear that she might tell her parents.
Addressing the press conference, Akshay Sachdeva, Special DGP, Sikkim Police said, “Sharma has confessed that he offered the girl a lift in his vehicle and later lured her on buying juice and took her to an isolated area. He bought a juice for the girl before sexually assaulting her. He then strangulated the girl with his bare hands, fearing that she would reveal his name.”
Sharma, who is married and has an eight-year-old child, was charged with murder under IPC Section 302. The police will add charges of sexual assault once the postmortem report confirms it. The victim’s mother and relatives protested outside the Sadar Police Station, demanding the strongest punishment.
The incident has sparked outrage among the public, The Chief Judicial Magistrate at Gangtok District Court has granted 14 days of police remand till May 1.
Addressing the media, the Victim’s mother demanded the accused be hanged, “Today whatever has been done to my daughter, it should not happen to any other children, but I demand that the accused be hanged until death. They are taking the accused to jail in Rongneyk, where they will be fed well. But tomorrow another child will be raped. Hence I demand that this person should be hanged. My daughter struggled for her life, she was tortured before she died, same punishment must be given to the accused. If the accused his handed to us” she stated.
“My daughter had gone to school in the morning, but after school she never returned. I searched for her like a mad person, yet didn’t find my child. Yet, I was hopeful that she would be found. On the same day, I came to Sadar Police Station and complained about it. They asked for my daughter’s photo and my phone number. They told us that the information is shared in the police group and in 24 hours they will start searching. But despite 30 hours being spent, the police were yet to initiate an investigation. Only after I came and cried, that they started the investigation. But that was already very late. I don’t ask much nor have anything to say to anyone but the way my daughter struggled for her life, the same treatment should be meted against the accused” she added.