A father and son have been arrested after police recovered the charred remains of a 12-year-old girl from their backyard in Assam’s Nagaon on Thursday.

The victim was employed as domestic help by the accused family, a senior police official said on Friday.  

The victim belonged to West Karbi Anglong and had been employed with the family of the accused for the last at least two years, as per initial investigations.

Gaurav Abhijit Dilip, the Superintendent of Police, Nagaon, said the Raha Police Station received a call on Thursday afternoon from a man from Khaigarh village, who claimed that their domestic help had committed suicide. 

When the police arrived on the scene, they found charred remains of the victim lying in the backyard of the complainant’s house. Dilip said the investigators found the family’s behaviour suspicious. 

“It surely does not look like a suicide,” Dilip said, adding the 70-year-old man, who made the call to the police and his 25-year-old son have been arrested on suspicion of their involvement in the incident.

The police have registered an FIR under multiple sections of the IPC, including criminal conspiracy, murder and the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.

The police is likely to press more charges under the Child Labour Act even as it investigates the circumstances of the alleged murder.  

Meanwhile, responding to a Twitter user’s anguish at the incident, Assam DGP Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta said: “As per her employer, the girl committed suicide. However, after initial inspection, it is suspected that she was murdered and then burnt. She was also underage to be working as a domestic help. Therefore, two accused were taken in to custody immediately. Investigation is on.”

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