Amid growing clamour over the rape and murder of an eight-year-old in Jammu and Kashmir's Kathua, a seven-year-old innocent on Monday was allegedly raped and murdered in Uttar Pradesh's Etah.
As per reports, a 19-year-old man, identified as Sonu took the girl away to an under-construction building while her family was busy attending a wedding ceremony.
The accused raped the minor and later killed her to avoid being identified, according to police. The rapist, however, was arrested from the spot, said Pankaj Mishra, the in charge of Kotwali Nagar police station in Etah.
"The 7-year-old girl was attending a wedding function in front of Galla Mandi of Etah city last night (Monday night) but was found missing at about 1am on Tuesday," Hindustan Times quoted Mishra.
"A search was conducted by the family members attending the function and she was found dead in an under-construction house nearby," he added.
"A case has been registered under section 302 (murder) and 376 (rape) of the Indian Penal Code. And as the victim is a minor, the provision of POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012) is also applicable against the accused, who would now be presented before a court in Etah," the officer said.
The body of the seven-year-old has already been sent for post-mortem.
The cases of atrocities against women and children have been increasing at an alarming rate since last few years.
While the gruesome rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl at Kathua's Rasana village shook the collective conscience of India, the alleged rape of an 18-year-old Dalit woman has brought the heinous truth of our country in focus.
An eleven-year old was also raped and tortured to death in yet another spine-chilling incident in Gujarat's Surat.
As per the latest figure, released by the government, a child is sexually abused every 15 minutes in India. Uttar Pradesh tops the chart with around 15% crime against minors in the country.