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Two children 'raped & killed'

Police promise swift action in twin horrors

A candle march in Muzaffarpur last week against the Kathua gang-rape and murder. Picture by Pankaj Kumar

Patna: Two children were allegedly raped and murdered in north Bihar on Saturday, hours after the Centre approved an ordinance for death penalty to rapists of girls below 12 years old.

A 10-year-old's body was found at a village under the jurisdiction of Musahari police station in Muzaffarpur district, around 80km north of Patna, late on Saturday night. Police said the girl went missing when she was returning home on foot from her neighbour's house after watching a TV show.

"The family started a search when she didn't return home till midnight. On Sunday morning, local residents found her body," said a close relative.

The girl's clothes were torn.

"Prima facie it appears she was killed after being raped," said an officer posted at the Musahari police station. "There were marks of external injury on the body and bloodstained clothes were found."

Muzaffarpur acting senior superintendent of police (SSP) Upendra Nath Verma said: "The medical report will confirm whether the victim was raped before being murdered."

In Sitamarhi district, around 111km north of Patna, an 11-year-old girl's body was found in a similar condition in a field at a village under the jurisdiction of Runnisaidpur police station on Saturday night. Police said the girl went missing when she was returning home from the farm after harvesting the wheat crop.

Hours earlier, an eight-year-old was allegedly raped by a youth, Naseem Sheikh, in Sasaram in Rohtas district on Saturday evening around 8pm when the girlwas going to buy ice cream. The police have arrested the accused.

"The police headquarters has taken a serious note of the incidents," said S.K. Singhal, ADG (headquarters). "Instructions are being issued to the SPs to ensure arrest of the accused, and speedy trial."

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