New Delhi: Two minor girls, aged 6 and 8, on Friday, "pretended to be dead" after a 22-year-old man raped and strangled them, in order to trick the accused into leaving.
A NDTV report said, the assailant was arrested on Saturday, while both the girls were in hospital.
“We have arrested Pankaj Kumar, a factory worker, for allegedly raping the girls. He was produced before a Delhi court and sent to 14-day judicial custody,” DCP (Rohini district) Rishi Pal said.
Dr Puneeta Mahajan, medical superintendent of Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar hospital said, "The victims were brought in a critical condition. They are now in post-operative care. A team of doctors is monitoring their condition, which is, at present, stable.”
On Friday, around 7:30 pm, the incident occurred when the two girls, who are neighbours, were playing outside their homes. The accused initially gave the girls Rs 100 and asked them to get a packet of Eno from a nearby medical shop. When the girls returned, since they could not get the product, the accused asked them to accompany him to the nearest shop and promised them to buy candy, a senior police officer said.
The elder sister of one of the girls also tried to accompany the accused along with the two victims. The mother of one of the victims said, "She asked him to leave her sister alone, but he slapped her. When she started crying, he gave her Rs 5 and asked her to go home. He took the two girls to an isolated park near a canal, about 150 metres from their home. At the park, he raped them and beat them up. When they started crying, he he hit them on their faces."
He then tried to strangle the girls, the police said. He dumped them inside the pit when they stopped struggling, assuming they were dead. One of the girls told her mother she "pretended to be dead so the man would leave". Around this time the parents of the victims called the police and informed them about their daughters being missing.
“Around 4:45 am on Saturday, the relatives of the girls started looking inside the park. The father of one of the girls noticed some clothes lying around and started screaming. Suddenly, one of the girls rushed towards him and told him about the other girl. Police then took the girls to a hospital,” a police officer said.
Although, the police tried to record their statements right away, they were too scared to speak. The police also added that they would be provided counselling. Later, they informed the police that they had "seen the accused around a neighbourhood grocery store".
The police said, "They provided a description of the accused and on the basis of that, police questioned the owner of the grocery store. Police then questioned over 100 people, and eventually traced Kumar, who was found living near the girls’ homes."