Bhubaneswar: The Arun Bothra-led Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the Odisha Crime Branch has cracked the sensational case of sexual assault and murder of 5-year-old girl Pari at Jadupur village in Nayagarh district and ascertained the involvement of one Saroj Sethy of the locality in the gruesome act.
Addressing a press conference today, Bothra said the SIT suspected about the possibility of rape/sexual assault in the case on the basis of the fact that the recovered body of the girl had no bottomwear and the leggings that was worn by the girl on the fateful day was missing. A frock of the girl that was found beside the body packed in a gunny bag had semen stain on it. All the factors indicated towards rape/sexual assault, the police official said.
During the investigation, members of the SIT collected information from around 120 households of the village regarding the typical timings of presence of family members in the houses. It was found that the accused was alone in his house on the day of the incident, said Bothra.
While examining the mobile phone of the accused’s sister, that was being regularly used by him also, a popup notification of a news about rape and murder of a 3-year-old child appeared on the device, which hinted that the youth had read/searched for similar content/news on the mobile phone. This apart, he had deleted all Google search history on the device except one tab entitled ‘How to delete search history’, the police official said.
The reaction of the accused was ‘aggressive’ while he was being questioned in connection with the case and it intensified after he was informed that semen stain was found on the frock. While around 30 villagers agreed to undergo polygraph test without any hesitation, the youth initially refused multiple times, Bothra said.
Making the startling revelation, the IPS officer said the accused strangulated the girl to death and tried to have sexual intercourse with the corpse, but could not. However, he discharged semen on the frock of the girl, the IPS officer said.
Detailing the evidence that has been obtained during the investigation, Bothra said Pari had gone to Saroj’s house, about 100 metre away from her house, at around 10.30 AM on July 14 to collect berries. On the fateful day, Saroj was alone in his house as his mother and sister had left for their offices. Finding her alone that day, Saroj took her to a room and removed her frock. Later, when he was about to remove her leggings, she resisted and started to scream. As she opposed the act, Saroj strangulated her to death.
Bothra further informed that Saroj is addicted to pornography, especially child pornography, and had watched such porn videos throughout the previous night on his sister’s mobile phone.
Further narrating the heinous crime, Bothra said after his failed bid to have sex with the corpse, Saroj put the body along with the frock inside a gunny bag and dumped it at a bush near a pond in the village and covered the gunny bag with coconut tree branches. Realizing that he forgot to keep the girl’s leggings in the gunny bag, he again went to his house to get it and later threw it in the pond, informed Bothra adding that the pond is being dried up to find the leggings.
Though there is no eye witness in this incident, the accused has confessed his crime before two persons, of which one has the audio and video recordings of the conversion. During polygraph test, the accused gave correct answers to all irrelevant questions but lied to all relevant ones, the SIT Chief added.