Two persons, arrested for allegedly raping a five-year-old girl in east Delhi, have been sent to judicial custody till May 23 by a court in New Delhi.
Additional Sessions Judge Sanjay Garg extended the remand of 22-year-old Manoj Sah and 19-year-old Pradeep when they were produced before him after expiry of their judicial custody.
The Delhi Police had earlier taken the custody of main accused Manoj for confronting him with Pradeep to know the sequence of events and for taking him to his native place in Muzzafarpur in Bihar to recover "blood-stained clothes" which he was wearing at the time of commission of the crime.
The investigators had also told the court that during the custodial interrogation of the accused, they had recovered the duo's mobile phones.
The police had also taken Manoj's handwriting sample to match it with the writing on a piece of paper recovered from Pradeep. The piece of paper was given to Pradeep by Manoj with an instruction to call him in two days when they had left Delhi and parted ways at Chhapra.
Both Manoj and Pradeep are accused of raping the minor girl on April 15 in the same building in east Delhi's Gandhi Nagar where the girl and the accused lived.
The girl was rescued 40 hours later on April 17 and is now recuperating at AIIMS.
After sexually assaulting the girl, Manoj attempted to strangulate her. Presuming that the victim was dead, both the accused fled from the spot and boarded a train to reach Chhapra. They then parted ways.
While Manoj headed to his in-laws' house, Pradeep went to his maternal uncle's residence in Lakhisarai.
Manoj was arrested on April 20 from Muzaffarpur in Bihar. After initial interrogation, he had revealed that Pradeep was also involved in the crime.
Following the revelation, Pradeep was apprehended from Barahiya village in Bihar's Lakhisarai district late night on April 22 from his maternal uncle's residence.
Both the accused have been booked under the provisions of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act which deals with cases of sexual offences where the victim is a child.
Manoj had told his interrogators that on April 15, his friend Pradeep had come to his house and they had consumed alcohol. `Manoj claimed that Pradeep insisted on bringing a girl to the house and he went out and lured the girl with a chocolate.
While he claimed that Pradeep alone had sexually assaulted the girl, the police had told the court that both of them had raped the minor.
Image: A schoolgirl in Jammu holds a placard during a prayer meeting for a five-year-old rape victim in Delhi.
Photograph: Mukesh Gupta/Reuters