In what could be termed as a grim reminder of rising crime against women and children, an eight year old girl was allegedly raped and murdered by her neighbour at Tharoijam Maning Leikai on Wednesday. Meanwhile, irate locals thrashed the accused rapist after he tried to flee the village on Thursday.
The victim girl was a class 1 student in Chirangnung Shanglen of Salam. Meanwhile, the alleged rapist has been identified as one Chingangbam Shyamjai (24) son of late Ingocha of Tharoijam Maning Leikai.
The incident occurred on Wednesday afternoon at around 1 when the young girl, after returning from school, was heading towards the family’s padd field where her mother was working, to provide tea to he mother. But she never reached the field. Unaware of the situation, her mother, on not finding her when she returned home informed other villagers and set out for a massive search for the missing child. At around 9.30 pm, the search party found the lifeless body of the girl at a field some 200 metres away from her home. They found her face covered with her ‘Phanek’ and her head bludgeoned with stones.
Following the incident, local people conducted a verification drive of all male villagers in the age group of 15 to 50 years of age at the village community hall on Thursday morning. They took fingerprints of every villager and checked their bodies by removing their shirts. The accused Shyamjai also attended the verification drive. However, the villagers smelt something fishy about him and they let him go after taking his pants. They also sent some villagers to keep a watch on him.
Soon after he left the community hall, Shyamjai went to his home and tried to flee the village after changing his clothes. However, the villagers who were on the lookout caught him in a field and conducted further interrogation to which, he admitted raping and killing the minor girl. Overcome by anger at this, the villagers gave him a sound thrashing before police arrived and arrested him. He is now undergoing treatment at RIMS hospital under critical condition.