Imphal: A 14-year-old girl died after she was found ‘unconscious’ near a pond in Manipur’s Mayang area.The girl had left her house after receiving a phone call Tuesday night, never to return. Early next morning, she was found in a semi-conscious state, nearly drowned in a pond in the neighbouring village of Heibong Mekhong, with a cloth around her neck.
She was rushed to the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) in Imphal, over 40 km away, where she died of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) according to the police.Before she died, her family members said, the 14-year-old had narrated to her 20-year-old sister the awful events occurred during night of Tuesday and Wednesday. The girl said she had gone to her boyfriend’s house in Heibong Mekhong with an intention to “elope”, but his family rejected the same. She was then “assaulted” by her boyfriend and his friends.
“It was around 8 pm when we were having dinner. She had dinner a little before that, after which she got a phone call and left. We thought this was a usual thing since she keeps talking to her friends,” the victim’s sister told.The police has so far arrested four suspects in the case, including the boyfriend 19-year-old Mohammed Maza Khan booking them under IPC Sections 376 and 302, pertaining to rape and murder, respectively, and the Protection of Children Against Sexual Offences Act (POCSO).
The police, however, did not confirm rape, saying they are awaiting the post mortem report.Superintendent of Police, Imphal West, K Meghachandra Singh said, “The main accused hasn’t confessed to the sexual assault till now. According to him, the girl had insisted on eloping. But the youth was reluctant and they fought over it. The girl then hit him with some pebbles or stones and he also hit back and kicked her down.”
Asked if the victim’s injuries were consistent with rape, Singh only said, “It’s not that certain, we are waiting for the post mortem report.”The Manipur government, meanwhile, has announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh for the victim’s family that has now demanded death sentence for the culprits.