Police inspect the spot in suburban Dhanbad’s Rai Tola where the intermediate student’s body was found on Monday. Picture by Gautam Dey
A 17-year-old inter-college student was found stripped, mutilated and dead in a pool of fresh blood a stone’s throw from her village home, 20km from Dhanbad proper, on Monday.
While police sources said they suspected a rape attempt, if not rape, based on circumstantial evidence, a sniffer dog led to the arrest of the victim’s unemployed neighbour and alleged tormentor Shatrughan Singh (30) soon after the body was spotted around 8.30am.
The morning shocker at Rai Tola in Bhagarampur area of Baliapur block, which took place when the teenager went outside to relieve herself, has once again bared how dearth of toilets in rural homes can be horribly unsafe.
Police said the girl — the daughter of a Grade IV BCCL employee posted at Bastacola colliery — had several deep wounds on her half-naked body, suggesting an attack by a sharp-edged weapon.
According to her father, she walked out of home to undergrowth barely 100 metres away around 7.30am. Her parents got panicky when she did not return even after an hour. Some villagers then spotted the body in the bush and informed the BCCL employee.
Officer-in-charge of Baliapur thana Lakshman Ram, who reached the murder spot around 8.45am, said they found a man’s shirt and a pair of slippers near the victim’s body. DSP, Sindri circle, Ramashankar Singh ordered an immediate canine probe. A sniffer dog led the police straight to Shatrughan’s Rai Tola home, only 50 metres from where the victim and her family lived.
OC Ram said that the girl’s family members had accused the youth of making passes at her on many occasions. He had even threatened her of dire consequences when she ignored his indecent advances.
“The exact motive behind the murder is yet to be ascertained. The post-mortem report will clear many gray areas (like if the victim had been subjected to sexual assault). Currently, we have arrested the accused and are interrogating him because the dog squad led us to his home. Also, a sniffer dog zeroed in on him during a TI parade at the police station,” the officer added.
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