A six-year-old girl who was raped and strangled at a school a week ago has died after battling for survival in an eastern Indian hospital for more than a week, officials said Monday.
The girl was found unconscious April 21 at the school in Odisha state’s Cuttack district, with injuries to her head and groin and strangulation marks on her neck, senior district police official Krutibas Jena said.
“We have arrested a 23-year-old man suspected of the crime,” Jena said.
According to preliminary investigations, the accused lured the girl into the school premises as she was on her way to buy biscuits, Jena said.
“It appears after raping her on the school premises he tried to kill her by throttling her,” Jena said.
The girl was first taken to a local health centre and then to the SCB Medical College and Hospital in the city of Cuttack, where she died on Sunday.
“The girl died of a cardiac arrest. A team of specialists from various disciples was treating her,” Shyama Kanungo, superintendent of the hospital said. “She was in a deep coma since Saturday.”
Kanungo said the girl’s body would be handed over to her family after a post-mortem.
The girl’s sister has demanded a speedy trial and a death sentence for the culprit, IANS news agency reported.
There has been widespread public anger in India in recent months regarding cases of rape of young girls.
India’s federal government recently approved stringent punishments for sexual violence against children, including the death penalty for those convicted of raping girls younger than 12.