8-year-old girl raped, killed

8-year-old girl raped, killed

Bhumika (name changed), daughter of Adi Lakshmi and Ramamurthy, a cement factory employee, was enticed by Gopal to a eucalyptus grove near her house around 4.15 pm on Thursday.

According to the police, the suspect apparently sweet-talked her on the pretext of giving her a chocolate when she was playing near the house. After taking her to the eucalyptus grove, Gopal allegedly raped her. He smashed her head with a stone, killing her instantly, when a traumatised Bhumika said she will inform her parents.

When the child did not return home, her parents began looking for her. When the search failed to locate her, they lodged a complaint with the police who registered a case of kidnapping at 10 pm. An unperturbed Gopal, who was apparently drunk while committing the offence, came home and slept off. Next morning, he reported to work.

After taking up the investigation, police found that Bhumika's younger brother Karthik (5) had spotted Gopal taking his sister. This was also confirmed by Anitha who lived near the eucalyptus grove. When questioned, Gopal initially denied the charges but later told the police that he had sold her off for Rs 10,000 in Tamil Nadu. When probed further, he confessed to the offence, police added. 

Gopal, who hailed from Salem, Tamil Nadu, had befriended Bhumika's family, also from that State, last year. He was very courteous to them and spoke nicely with Bhumika.
"He was well-mannered and would often give chocolates to Bhumika. Never did we imagine that he could do this," a grief-stricken Lakshmi told Deccan Herald. While the family lives in a chawl inside the dyeing unit, Gopal resides in Lakshmi Layout along with his wife and two girl children. 

The body was taken to the Victoria Hospital for a post-mortem. A case of rape and murder has been booked. Gopal will be produced before the jurisdictional magistrate on Saturday.

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