The minor had died under suspicious circumstances on May 17. She was buried without informing the police on the banks of Simen River Credit: Representational image

Guwahati: In a horrific case a 51-year-old was arrested for allegedly attempting to sexually abuse the dead body of a 14-year-old girl in Dimow village in Silapathar, Dhemaji.

The accused, Akan Saikia was arrested on May 18. He was allegedly caught when he was about to perform the act by villagers said Dr Dhananjay Ghanwat, Superintendent of Police of Dhemaji.

“The minor had died under suspicious circumstances on May 17. She was buried without informing the police on the banks of Simen River. On the early morning of May, 18 villagers saw the accused moving towards the grave and saw him dig it. After that, he proceeded to commit the act but was captured by the villagers,’” informed Ghanwat added.

Later the brother of the minor came to the police to lodge an FIR and stated that Saikia had been harassing his sister for some time. He alleged that the girl committed suicide because she was fed up with the constant harassment.

“It is undoubtedly one of the most heinous crimes,” said Miguel Das Queah, Child Rights Activist and Founder of UTSAH Child Rights Org. He added, “However, India does not have a law to deal with necrophilia, unlike in countries like the UK and New Zealand. Section 297 of the IPC lays out a penalty for trespassing of burial grounds which is from the purview of protecting religious sentiments and not from the perspective of dealing with sexual crimes. Additionally, crimes under 297 are non-cognizable and bailable. Even the POCSO Act, does not deal explicitly with dead children.”

“Saikia is not mentally unstable but is a psychopath and has been an old serial offender, however, no cases were registered under him,” said SP Dhemaji. However, in 2018 he was convicted for domestic violence against one of his wives (he was married twice) and was convicted He was let out on parole in the last week of March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As of now, Saikia is booked under Section 306 (abetment of suicide), 377 (unnatural sex) of IPC, and since there are allegations of harassment he is also booked under the POCSO Act.

Miguel Das Queah also added, “In this case, the girl child had committed suicide and was buried by the community without informing the police. Therefore, the police also need to book the people who were responsible for covering up the death of the child in the first place.”

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