Surat: On the heels of the brutal gang rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua in Jammu and the rape of another minor in Unnao in UP allegedly by a BJP MLA, comes another shocker from Surat where police found the body of a nine-year-old girl with over 80 injuries.

The body of the unidentified girl was found near a cricket field in Bhestan area of Surat on April 6. The post-mortem revealed that the girl was raped and tortured for at least eight days before being strangled to death, news agency ANI reported.

Read: Justice For Kathua Rape Victim

The police are going through the list of the missing persons to see if the girl was listed among them.

“The girl’s body had 86 injury marks including ones on her private parts. Samples have been taken for forensic test to ascertain whether she was drugged or not,” ANI quoted Ganesh Govekar, Forensic Head, Civil Hospital as saying.

Police inspector BK Jhala said, “Even after eight days, the parents of the girl are yet to be identified. The police also believe that she was murdered somewhere else and the dead body has been thrown here. The victim’s picture has been sent to the state police control room for identification process.”

He said police have registered a case of rape and also booked the unidentified accused under The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act. A reward of Rs 20,000 has been announced for anyone providing information about the girl or her family.

The rapes and murders in Kathua and Unnao have sparked shock and outrage across the country with the BJP being accused of trying to shield the accused in both cases. In Unnao where the victim’s father died in custody, the CBI arrested the main rape accused - MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar - on Saturday.

In the Kathua case, two BJP ministers who had opposed the investigation by the crime branch of the Jammu and Kashmir police, finally resigned on Saturday after Prime Minister Narendra Modi asserted on Friday that the guilty in the crimes will be punished and the victims will get justice.

“As a country, as a society we all are ashamed of it (rapes),” Modi said in his address while inaugurating the Ambedkar memorial in Delhi. “I want to assure the country that no culprit will be spared, complete justice will be done. Our daughters will definitely get justice,” he added.

In the Kathua case, the police charge sheet says the girl from the Bakarwal nomadic tribe was kidnapped, held in a temple in Kathua’s Rasana village, drugged, repeatedly raped and then murdered to scare her community out of the neighbourhood. Her body was found on January 17, seven days after she went missing.

In the Unnao case, the Yogi Adityanath government has come under fire for allegedly trying to shield the influential party MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar who was accused of raping a 17 year-old girl in June last year. The girl’s father was beaten by the MLA’s brother and sent to jail. He died on Monday, while in police custody.

The Unnao case hit the headlines after the girl attempted to immolate herself in front of Adityanath’s residence on April 8, a day before her father died.

Agencies