The accused had been allegedly raping the survivor for the past nine months inside her house in Dhubri, Assam Credit: Representational image

Guwahati: Over a week after EastMojo reported the serial rape of a dfferently-abled minor girl by her neighbour in Gassapara village of Dhubri district in Assam, the police arrested the prime accused, Sadik Ali, on Friday.

Ali, 22, was hiding in Kishanganj area of Bihar after after he got to know about the police complaint. He belongs to Berakata village located along the Indo-Bangladesh border and is said to be a relative of the survivor.

Ali had been allegedly raping the survivor for the past nine months inside her house. The survivor can neither speak nor hear. The incident came to the fore early this month when the survivor complained of severe stomach pain and was taken to the doctor for check-up. The doctors confirmed that she was eight months pregnant.

The father of the survivor had filed a case in the Dhubri police station on September 3. The case was referred to the Dharmashala police outpost under case no -1349/18. But no action was taken up by the police for the next three weeks.

It was when EastMojo brought out the story, which was later pursued by Child Rights activist Miguel Das Queah and local journalist Illias Rahman Sarkar, that the police sprung into action.

Nandalal Sarkar, in-charge of Dharmashala police outpost who was looking into the case, said, “The accused had fled to Kishanganj in Bihar after he got to know about the police case. His family members also fled to different places of Dhubri. After searching for them for more than seven days, we finally got hold of one of the members. Then, we convinced the family members to get in touch with him. The family members convinced the accused to surrender.”

Ali surrendered around 2:30 pm in Dhubri police station on Friday.

Explaining as to why it took 25 days for the police to nab the accused, Sarkar said, “We were busy attending to the survivor. She was undergoing treatment in the hospital, had to record her statement and ensure proper medical facilities. She was very weak after delivering a stillborn baby. So it took us sometime to get on to the accused.”

Child rights activist Miguel Das Queah said, “When I got to know about the news in EastMojo, I called up the SP and deputy commissioner and requested them to help the child. Both of them assured immediate support. The SP, Longit Terrang, and his team took immediate measures to ensure that the absconding criminal was arrested. DC Anant Lal Gyani also ensured that the child received proper care in the hospital.”

The activist also said that he was hopeful of the administration that the investigation was completed and the charge-sheet filed on time.

“Also, the child should receive interim compensation along with high-quality care,” he added.

Illias Rahman Sarkar, a local social activist from Dhubri who first informed about the incident to this journalist, said, “I was regularly following up the case with the in-charge of the Dharmashala police outpost. I had also written an e-mail to the Assam State Child Protection.”

“In village areas, such incidents occur in poor families fail to attract attention of the media and police. But I am glad that EastMojo decided to report the incident because of which the culprit is booked.”

Meanwhile, Ali has been sent to the Dhubri district jail.

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