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Dilip Kumar

Dhenkanal: The police on Tuesday claimed to have arrested the prime accused in the alleged rape and murder of a four-year-old girl whose mutilated body was found in a nullah at Kharakhari village in the district on Saturday.

The Kankadahada police station, which is investigating the case, will produce the accused in a local court later in the day to seek his custodial remand.

The accused, who has been arrested three days after the crime was discovered, has been identified as Sankarsan Dehury, is a resident of Kaliapani area in Jajpur district, said Suprasana Mallick, Kamakhyanagar Sub-Divisional Police Officer (SDPO).

"The investigation revealed that the girl accompanied the accused till evening hours on the fateful day. The accused had offered the girl some snacks in the evening before committing the crime. We closed in on the accused after questioning a number of shopkeepers at the village market and some others. The accused also confessed to the crime during his questioning,” Mallick said.

Clothes of the accused bearing blood stains have been recovered, he added.

The SDPO further said the Inspector General (IG) and Superintendent of Police (SP) had visited the spot and monitored the investigation as it was a sensitive case.

“We will produce the necessary evidence before the court to fast-track the trial. As per the orders of the SP, we will be filing the charge-sheet as early as possible,” the SDPO maintained.

According to reports, the victim, daughter of Bikram Soren of Kharakhari village under Kankadahada police limits, did not return home on the fateful day. Her parents failed to trace her even after a launching a search in the village. Later, they lodged a missing complaint with police.

Based on the complaint, the SDPO of Kamakhyanagar, Suprasanna Mallik and the Inspector-in-charge of Kankadahada police station had launched an investigation.

The girl’s body was found floating in the Maramburu nullah near the village market the next day. Her parents alleged that their daughter had been murdered after she was raped by the assailant.

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