PATNA: A village shopkeeper was arrested by police in Lakhisarai at around Monday midnight for allegedly raping a seven-year-old girl at least 20 days back.
The incident took place at a village under Kajra police station area of the district. Police fears that at least four more minor girls might have fallen victim of the accused whose parents are not surfacing before police for lodging case yet.
The arrested accused has been identified as Prakash Tanti, aged around 50 years. He runs a small general store in the village where the minor girls and others used to go for purchasing items.
An FIR has been lodged against Tanti by the seven-year-old minor’s mother with Women’s police station in Lakhisarai who approached there with other family members and villagers at around 10pm on Monday after which the arrest took place.
Women’s police station SHO Rita Kumari said that besides the seven-year-old girl, a five-year-old girl has also been sexually assaulted by the accused but her parents are not ready to lodge a complaint.
“Police fears that at least four to five more minor girls in the village might have fallen victim to the accused. But neither their parents are coming forward nor even they are ready to disclose anything to police,” she said.
SHO said that it was first the five-year-old girl who complained her mother against the accused on Monday for touching her body parts when she had gone to his shop.
“The news incident spread amid the villagers. After which the seven-year-old girl’s mother quizzed her too,” she said.
“She has been continuously remaining ill for the last 20 days. She had even complained of pain in her private parts to mother but probably the woman failed to understand the gravity of the situation,” SHO said.
She said that the seven-year-old girl had gone to Tanti’s shop 20 days back but he took her to a secluded place in the outskirts of the village in the name of giving her peas.
“There he raped the girl after which she returned home silently and started remaining ill,” the SHO said.
She said that the girl’s medical examination was conducted on Tuesday and the accused was forwarded to judicial remand too.
SHO said that the five-year-old girl’s parents are well educated and run a business locally in Lakhisarai while the seven-year-old girl’s mother is uneducated and her father works as a daily wager outside Bihar.
“Tanti lived in the village with his wife and son. No complaints had surfaced against him in the past. Further investigation is going on in the matter,” SHO added.
(The victim’s identity has not been revealed to protect her privacy as per Supreme Court directives on cases related to sexual assault)