Thudiyalur All Women Police on Sunday arrested Santhosh Kumar (32) of Uliyampalayam, Thondamuthur, on charges of raping and murdering a seven-year-old girl on March 25.
The Police claimed that Kumar, an interior decorator, had confessed to the crime during interrogation. Provisions of the POCSO Act have been invoked against him.
Kumar, who had befriended the girl while staying at his grandmother’s house since January this year to take care of her, had sexually assaulted the girl twice before and for the third time. When the girl resisted his attempts, he had gagged and strangulated her at his grandmother’s two-room house.
The grandmother who was bedridden in the other room died around 9 p.m. on the day, a few hours after Kumar had allegedly raped and murdered the girl.
He wrapped the girl’s body in his t-shirt and hid it in the second room before informing relatives of his grandmother’s death.
In the wee hours of March 26, when the relatives were asleep, he took the girl’s body and tossed it in a bush near the grandmother’s house, the Police said and added that they had recovered the t-shirt and established that it was Kumar’s.
Initially, on being informed about the incident, the Thudiyalur Police had registered a murder case and began investigation. The next day, when it came to light that the girl had been raped, they transferred the case to the Thudiyalur All Women Police.
By then, the Coimbatore Rural Police under Superintendent of Police R. Pandiarajan had formed 14 teams to arrest the perpetrators of the crime. The teams interrogated six persons and eliminated four from the list of suspects after the first round of investigation.
In the subsequent rounds of investigation, the Police said Santhosh Kumar confessed to the crime and also admitted that the t-shirt used to wrap the girl’s body was his.
Kumar who was married a few years ago got separated from his wife within a month of the wedding. He then moved to his grandmother’s house in January to look after her after his grandfather died in November last year.