EastMojo
www.eastmojo.com
The body of the victim was reportedly found hanging from the ceiling of Janata Dal (United) legislator Techi Kaso’s home in Arunachal Pradesh on May 20
The body of the victim was reportedly found hanging from the ceiling of Janata Dal (United) legislator Techi Kaso’s home in Arunachal Pradesh on May 20|Representational image
ARUNACHAL PRADESH

EastMojo impact: Probe fast-tracked in Arunachal girl’s death

Cops re-examine evidence, make arrest in case of a tribal girl found hanging at the home of MLA Techi Kaso -- in what was initially being made a simple case of suicide

Manish Pant

Manish Pant

New Delhi: The Arunachal Pradesh police are all set to re-examine the evidence in the alleged suicide of the young girl whose body was recovered from the house of a state lawmaker even as new details have emerged in the case that was widely reported across the country.

The body of the victim was reportedly found hanging from the ceiling of the Janata Dal (United) legislator Techi Kaso’s home on May 20. The tribal girl was the daughter of a couple who was working in the Kaso household for the past three decades. The family originally hails from Lakhimpur district in the neighbouring state of Assam.

Unsatisfied with the line of investigation, the National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) had taken sou moto cognisance of the matter and summoned the Itanagar superintendent of police to appear before a panel in New Delhi on June 19.

EastMojo had first reported on the development on June 15. Sources privy to the investigation also informed the portal that the appearance of the story has helped fast-track the investigation ever since.

“I presented before the NCPCR panel the investigation and action taken so far. I have informed that as per their earlier direction, we have already changed the investigating officer. In place of a sub-inspector rank officer, a deputy superintendent of police has been assigned to the case,” Itanagar SP Tumme Amo told EastMojo.

Amo said that the police also made an arrest in the case earlier this week.

“On the basis of certain new evidence emerging, we have taken one person into custody. In addition to the existing case registered under Section 174 of CrPC, we have filed a case under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) and other acts of the Indian Penal Code (IPC),” said Amo.

Amo was speaking to EastMojo a day after appearing for the NCPCR hearing on Thursday.

The case made headlines after it was alleged that all the evidence was frenetically destroyed and the deceased quietly buried soon after the discovery of the girl’s body. The deceased’s body was exhumed from a graveyard in Lakhimpur on June 8 after the police obtained the necessary permissions from the district magistrate and director of the Tomo Riba Institute of Health & Medical Sciences (TRIHMS) to determine the exact cause of her death. The local magistrate and a team of Assam Police were also present during the exhumation process.

Amo said that the police were seriously examining all angles in the investigation and might initiate action against the officer initially assigned to the case for failing to properly handle it.

“We may register one more case against the police officer who failed to take sufficient action on this matter. I have asked my DSP to conduct an inquiry and submit a report,” he stated.

Amo declined to divulge any more details as investigation was still underway in the case.

New facts emerge

Meanwhile, other sources have apprised EastMojo of certain new facts that have come to light in the past few days. Citing the deceased’s school records, the Itanagar-based sources claimed that the victim was not a house help but a regular student at a government school and was studying in the sixth standard. The same sources also claimed that she was not 12, as was widely reported, but 14 years, as per her birth records.

The investigation was delayed after her parents’ initial resistance to file a police report. It took a lot of cajoling on part of the state member of the NCPCR, Rosy Taba Gongo, to convince them to file an FIR.

EastMojo also learnt that deeply unhappy with the initial forensic report filed in the case, the NCPCR is likely to summon the doctor who carried it out to New Delhi.

One of the reasons the case has got a lot of national attention is due to the fact that it comes amidst reports of rising incidences of crimes such as child labour and trafficking of minors from the Northeast region. In a recent incident, 17-year old Dolly Wangsa is reported missing from her home in Lohit district in Arunachal since June 14.

In another famous case, in December 2017, 17-year old Jenti Bellai from the same district was traced to Noida after she was lured there by her Facebook friend, Akhtar Hassan, on the promise of securing her a job in the Delhi-NCR.

It is primarily owing to the recurrence of such incidents that NCPCR is very serious about expanding its reach in the region through its Northeastern cell. In fact, two of the commission's important pan-India hearings pertaining to the protection of child rights would be held in Arunachal’s Namsai and Mizoram’s Namit districts over the next one month.