The girl, whose partially charred and mutilated body was found along NH-33 on Saturday, has been identified as a 17-year-old intermediate student of Ranchi who was gang-raped and smothered to death by her boyfriend’s buddies on Valentine’s Day.
Dhurwa resident Ajit, who allegedly forced the victim into a physical relationship with his friends and abetted murder, was arrested from his residence on Tuesday. One of his pals, Chotu, too has landed in the net. Both are in their early twenties.
Police are hunting for a third gang-rape accused and the driver of the vehicle used to ferry the body 45km from Dhurwa dam to Bundu.
According to police, the victim — an arts pupil and resident of Chutia in the capital — left home around 3pm on February 14 for a bike ride to the dam with Ajit who she knew for six months.
“The couple got cosy during their pleasure trip. Their intimacy was consensual,” said an investigating officer. “However, later on, Ajit asked her to oblige his friends too. She refused and was gang-raped by his friends,” he added.
The traumatised teenager lost consciousness. The three youths smothered her with their bare hands. Then, they hired a car and took the lifeless girl to Bundu.
“To destroy evidence, they poured petrol on her corpse and set it on fire. The partially burnt body was found by morning-walkers on February 15,” the officer said.
Ranchi SSP Bhimsen Tuti confirmed the girl’s identity and said that interrogation had revealed she had spoken briefly to her assailants after the gang rape.
“The victim had regained sense for sometime and threatened the youths with exposure, which perhaps prompted murder,” he said.
Bundu SDPO Ram Sarekh Rai dubbed the incident unfortunate. “The only good thing is that we have cracked the case within four days,” he said.
When The Telegraph visited the girl’s house in Chutia, no one was available for comments.
A local resident, requesting anonymity, said her father was a security guard. He also claimed that the girl was born and brought up in Delhi — ironically, the rape capital of India — and had come to Ranchi five years ago after her grandfather died.
Another neighbour, who identified himself as Sohan Singh, said the guilty should be punished without delay. “Crimes like this deserve no leniency,” he added.
How can safety of women be ensured in Jharkhand?