The accused was seen throttling the child in Jalampur slums by some women, who heard the victim’s screams.
A two-and-half-year-old girl was raped in Khaniadhana town of Madhya Pradesh’s Shivpuri district on Thursday morning by an 18-year-old man, who was caught and beaten up by a mob before being handed over to the police, officials said on Friday.
Deva alias Bhura Valmiki was seen throttling the child in Jalampur slums by some women, who heard her screams from inside a room in his house. He tried to escape by jumping into a pond nearby but was caught by some people.
As the news of the incident spread, a large mob gathered around Bhura’s house in Valmiki Basti, where a large number of Dalits live, and set his house on fire and vandalised over a dozen other houses forcing the residents to flee.
The mob also targeted several shops, mainly liquor outlets, and forced shopkeepers in the main market area to down their shutters. They kept vandalising the shops and houses for over three hours. They also gheraoed the Khaniadhana police station demanding officials to hand over the accused to them.
Police gained control over the situation after the additional superintendent of police Kamal Maurya reached the spot at around 2pm with more force.
The medical examination of the child conducted in Pichore, some 40km away from Khaniadhana, confirmed the rape and the accused was booked for rape, attempted murder and sections under the stringent Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) Act.
There is unease in the town amid the presence of very large police force but no untoward incident was reported on Friday.
Superintendent of police Sunil Pandey said that the situation was under control and they were trying to find out the people responsible for the vandalism.
“Cases have been registered against eight identified persons and over 150 unidentified persons for rioting and arson,” Pandey said.
All those who had fled their houses in Valmiki Basti have returned, he added.
The state is on the edge after a 19-year-old civil services aspirant was allegedly raped by four rag-pickers close to the Government Railway Police’s Habibganj station in Bhopal on October 31. The incident also attracted widespread anger after a dispute over jurisdiction by the police delayed the filing of the complaint.
There were 1687 cases registered under the Protection of Children under Sexual Offences (Pocso) Act in 2015 in Madhya Pradesh only second after Uttar Pradesh which reported 3078 cases, says the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) in the most recent published figures.
There were 1568 cases of rape against minors in the central state putting it on the second place after Maharashtra, which reported 2231 such incidents.
The NCRB data in 2015 showed that almost 95% of child sex abuse crimes were committed by people known to the victims such as parents, relatives, neighbours and teachers.