Sonari where the murder took place in the small hours of Wednesday. Picture by Animesh Sengupta
A 28-year-old deaf and mute woman was raped and bludgeoned to death along Marine Drive in Sonari, Jamshedpur, in the small hours of Wednesday.
The victim, identified as a resident of Nirmal Nagar, went to relieve herself in a field past midnight when she was targeted. Her bare body, with fatal injuries on the head, was found near a slag dump. A blood-caked brick too was found on the spot.
It is yet to be ascertained if she was attacked by one person or many, but circumstantial evidence suggest that the culprit/s was/were local residents.
A rag-picker spotted the body first around 6am and informed local residents. Family members — an orphan and unmarried, the victim lived with her brother and his wife — identified her from her clothes. Police later recovered the body and sent it for post-mortem.
“Prima facie it appears to be a case of rape and murder. We are waiting for autopsy confirmation. The body has been sent to MGM Medical College mortuary,” said Sonari OC Sanjiv Kumar. Kumar added that for the time being they were registering a murder case.
“We will add the rape section once we receive the post-mortem report.”
A relative said the victim had left the house to answer nature’s call around 1.30am, but did not return, prompting a search till morning.
“Her assailant must be a local (resident). Raping and killing a disabled and orphaned girl is more than shameful. If police and the administration fail to book the culprit, people of Nirmal Nagar will find him and punish him in their own way,” he warned.
DSP (Headquarters-II) Jagdish Prasad visited the crime scene and promised action.
“Though the rape angle is subject to post-mortem confirmation, we suspect the crime was committed before the victim was battered to death,” he said, adding that they had launched a manhunt.