A girl, around 12 years of age, was found bleeding on a street in Ujjain city of Madhya Pradesh, and medical examination confirmed that she had been raped, police said on September 27.
The girl was found wandering in a semi-clothed condition on Monday, the police said. She is currently under treatment at a hospital in Indore. CCTV footage showing the 12-year-old trying to seek help and being turned away has caused furore on social media. Opposition parties have criticised the Madhya Pradesh government for the “lack of safety for women” in the State.
“A girl, aged around 12 years, was found bleeding on a street located under the Mahakal police station area in Ujjain on Monday [September 25]. She was taken to a hospital, where her initial medical examination confirmed that she had been raped,” Ujjain Superintendent of Police (SP) Sachin Sharma told journalists.
Mr. Sharma added that going by the girl’s accent, she appeared to be from Prayagraj in Uttar Pradesh but only further investigation could confirm it. CCTV footage captured on cameras installed at different places in Ujjain established that the girl was wandering for over two hours before she found help. One clip shows her approaching a man but being turned away.
The girl found help near Dandi Ashram — a residential gurukul — whose manager Rahul Sharma offered assistance and informed the police.
“I was leaving the gurukul for a meeting when I saw a girl standing close to the Ashram gate. She was bleeding, was half-naked and her eyes were swollen. She seemed scared and tried to move away. I first gave her a cloth [to cover herself] and assured her that she had nothing to fear. I then enquired what had happened but she spoke in a language that I did not understand; I also gave her a pen and paper but she could not write anything either,” Mr. Sharma told The Hindu over the phone.
After unsuccessfully trying to get details from the girl about her parents or any contact number, Mr. Sharma and the gurukul staff provided her some food and informed the police. Till Wednesday evening, the police have not been able to trace the girl’s family.
Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra said that one person had been taken into custody and a Special Investigation Team had been formed to probe the matter.
The Congress has stepped up its attack on the BJP government in the State with former party president Rahul Gandhi calling it an attack on the “heart of mother India”. State Congress president and former Chief Minister Kamal Nath demanded the harshest punishment for the criminals and demanded that medical treatment and financial assistance of ₹1 crore be provided to the girl.
“It is heart-wrenching to see a case of extremely cruel abuse of a small girl in Ujjain. The kind of rape that happened to a 12-year-old daughter and the way she ran around in many areas of the city in a semi-nude state and then fell unconscious on the road, puts humanity to shame,” Mr. Nath posted on X. “I want to know from the Chief Minister whether you will just keep fighting elections and making false announcements? Will you fill the hoardings of entire Madhya Pradesh with pictures of daughters created by artificial intelligence, but will not pay any attention to the safety of innocent daughters?” he asked.
Terming the incident heinous and a stain on the administration and society, Mr. Nath further asked if the daughter upon who this cruelty was inflicted was not “Ladli Lakshmi” or “Ladli Behna” [both names of women-centric schemes of the State government. The party’s Madhya Pradesh in-charge Randeep Singh Surjewala also took to X and wrote that a 12-year-old girl had become a victim of brutality just like “Nirbhaya” had. He accused the BJP government of being “ineffective”.
BJP State president V.D. Sharma termed the incident most unfortunate and added that the criminals would get a death sentence.