A six-year-old girl was rescued from Morbi in Gujarat, nearly two months after she was kidnapped from the state’s Anand district, even as the accused, a labourer from Madhya Pradesh, is on the run, police said on Saturday.
The minor, who was kidnapped on December 3 last year, was rescued on January 25 from near a factory in Morbi in Saurashtra region, nearly 240 kms from Tarapur in Anand, they said.
After rescuing the girl, the police made video calls to her parents to confirm her identity as her head had been tonsured by the accused, identified as Guddu Maliwad, a police official said.
The accused is a casual labourer from Kalyanpur in Jhabua district of Madhya Pradesh, who lived in the victim’s neighbourhood in Tarapur, the official said.
“After the girl’s disappearance, the victim’s mother had lodged a complaint, saying that a man living in their neighbourhood kidnapped her six-year-old daughter,” Anand senior police official Bharti Pandya said.
“During the probe, it was found that the accused had lured the girl with a biscuit. In the CCTV footage, the accused is seen takingthe girl with him. The family of the victim knew a relative of the accused, although indirectly,” she said.
On December 3, a case had been registered at Tarapur police station under section of kidnapping and sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act based on a complaint filed by the victim’s mother, the police said.
“As the accused did not use any kind of devices, like a mobile phone, only human intelligence was used and several police teams were formed and sent across parts of Gujarat to trace the girl,” she said.
According to police, after rescuing the girl, it was found that the accused had beaten her up and shaved her head.
“The accused was constantly on the move after kidnapping her, and finally ended up in Morbi where he handed her over to a woman living in a slum near a factory from where she was rescued,” the DySP said.
Police said they are waiting for the medical reports to ascertain if the minor was also sexually assaulted.
The girl was brought back to Anand, where she underwent a surgery for her head injuries and was admitted to a hospital for two days, Pandya said.
“We got her medically examined for the second time post-counselling as she is in trauma,” she said.
According to the official, the entire cost of her medical treatment was borne by the police as she belonged to a poor family of labourers.