Five days after the alleged rape of a seven-year-old girl in Shastri Nagar locality here, the accused — stated to be a habitual offender — was arrested in Kota on Saturday and brought here late in the night. The incident had led to tension and violent protests, during which a police station was surrounded and a large number of vehicles were vandalised.
Police nabbed the accused, Sikandar alias Jivanu, 35, when he went to meet an acquaintance — a tea-stall owner — in Bhimganj Mandi area of Kota after remaining untraceable for five days. One of the 12 police teams which had spread out to different areas in the State to search him found a clue about his presence in Kota, after which the policemen kept a watch and apprehended him.
Jaipur Police Commissioner Anand Srivastava said at a press conference that Sikandar was convicted of unnatural sex and murder of an 11-year-old boy in 2004 and awarded life imprisonment. After his release from jail in 2015, he allegedly committed several crimes, including molestation of two minor girls in Bhatta Basti area here in 2017.
Mr. Srivastava said Sikandar was involved in as many as 10 crimes before and after his 2004 conviction, and that his interrogation would reveal if he was responsible for a similar incident of rape of a four-year-girl in the same locality on June 22, since when the local residents were agitated.
Other cases registered against Sikandar were those of theft of motorcyles, heist at shops, attack on a police officer and escape from the police custody. “He is a habitual offender… We were able to identify him with the help of the network of police informers. The CCTV footage of the area was not of much help,” Mr. Srivastava said.
The police were under an intense pressure to apprehend the accused at the earliest because of the prevailing tension. The district administration had suspended mobile internet services in 13 police station areas of the city to check the spread of rumours. The ban was lifted on Saturday.
Sikandar had allegedly abducted the girl on a motorcycle from her house on July 1 night and took her to a deserted place. He later dumped her near her house. The condition of the victim, who was admitted to Sir Padampat Mother & Child Hospital here, has since improved. The State government has sanctioned a financial assistance of ₹5 lakh to her family.