Srinagar: In a shocking incident, a nine-year-old girl was allegedly gang-raped by her stepbrother and his friends and then strangled by her stepmother in Kashmir’s Baramulla.
The child’s eyes were gouged out and her body was burnt with battery acid before being dumped in a forest near her home in Uri, said the police.
Acting on a complaint, the child’s stepmother, 14-year-old stepbrother and three others have been arrested.
The decomposed body of the girl was recovered from a forest Sunday.
“We started an investigation immediately,” said Mir Imtiyaz Hussain, a senior police officer. A special team formed to investigate the murder uncovered a horrifying story of jealousy and revenge within a family.
“It was found that the stepmother had been nursing a grudge against the non-local wife of her husband, and her children,” said Mr Hussain.
During interrogation, the girl’s stepmother allegedly said her husband would spend more time with his second wife and the nine-year-old was closest to him among all his children.
“The woman conspired to kill her stepdaughter. She took her to the nearby jungle where she asked her son and his friends to gangrape the girl,” the police officer said. “The girl was gangraped in her presence of her stepmother,” Mr Hussain said.
The stepmother is accused of strangling the girl while her son hit the child on the head with an axe. His friends brought vehicle battery acid from home and sprinkled it on the body while another friend gouged out her eyes with a knife before dumping the corpse in the bushes.
Later, friends of the woman’s son dumped the body in the bushes and covered it with pine twigs and branches. The axe and knife have been recovered on information from the accused, the police officer said.
A plastic can containing acid has also been found.