The word bhaiya (brother) had a searingly different meaning for an eight-year-old girl who was raped by a 16-year-old youth in Devarajeevanahalli on December 31.

And it was this very word that helped the D.J. Halli police crack the case.

The victim, who had been to watch a cultural programme with her grandmother, strayed into the crowd and found herself before a shop where the accused was standing and smoking. The accused, who is a juvenile, was high after allegedly sniffing whitener and lured the victim to an isolated place where he allegedly raped her.

He later brought the girl back on the road and left her there. Meanwhile, the frantic family, who had been looking for the child, found her crying on the road. They took her home without suspecting anything amiss.

The crime came to light the next day when the victim’s mother was giving her a bath. The child was taken to a nearby doctor and later to Bowring Hospital. The matter was brought to the notice of the police only after doctors confirmed rape.

The police waited for almost a week to talk to the victim. They then got the suspect’s description and prepared a sketch. A police team led by Inspector Parashivamurthy rounded up several suspects, including the juvenile, from R.T. Nagar. At the identification parade, the victim recognised the accused saying this was the bhaiya who had offered her chocolate.

Police said he confessed. He was produced before the Child Welfare Committee and remanded in the juvenile home.

Police said the teen, who works in a tailoring shop, started living on the footpath and became a substance abuser when his mother remarried after his father’s death.

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