Bihar villagers ostracise alleged child rapist

Patna, April 22 (IANS) Neighbours in Bihar’s Sheikhpura district of Pradeep, the second accused in the rape of a five-year-old girl in Delhi, have announced a social boycott of the young man, and demanded death as punishment for him, police said.

Pradeep, in his early 20s, is a native of Yahyapur locality under Nagar police station in Sheikhpura. He was arrested from Barahaiya area of Lakhisarai district early Monday by a joint team of Delhi Police and the state police.

A court of the chief judicial magistrate in Lakhisarai granted three-day transit remand of Pradeep to Delhi Police, police officials said.

After they learnt that one of their own – Pradeep – was arrested for his involvement in the brutal rape of the little girl, villagers staged protests outside Pradeep’s house, a district police official said.

Shabana Bano, a neighbour, said the residents held a meeting and decided to boycott Pradeep, and he would not be allowed into the village.

A member of the local elected body, Mohd Shahbaz, said: “Residents have decided on the social boycott, and people will have no connection with him. We have also demanded the death penalty, if he is proved guilty.”

Shahbaz added: “Some people wanted to set his house ablaze, but that move was prevented.”

He said there was much anger against Pradeep in his native village.

A group of people, knowing he was to be produced in the court of chief judicial magistrate in Lakhisarai, gathered there and demanded capital punishment for him.

Manoj Kumar, the prime accused in the case, from whose room the girl was recovered after she had gone missing, was arrested Saturday from Bihar’s Mujaffarpur district, where he was hiding at the home of his parents-in-law.

Manoj Kumar was sent to judicial custody till May 4, following interrogation by Delhi Police.

The child victim, meanwhile, is under treatment at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi, where doctors say she will need reconstructive surgery to repair the damage to her genitals.

Doctors had earlier removed pieces of candle and a 200-ml hair oil bottle from inside the girl’s body.

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