Aizawl: In a controversial case unfolding in the northeastern state of Mizoram, a couple has been arrested over the death of their 2-year-old daughter, who was suspected to be sexually assaulted before her demise in a private hospital in Aizawl.

The girl, who hailed from a locality in the western part of the state capital, died at Ebenezer medical centre, a reputed private hospital in Aizawl on September 16 and her death snowballed into a controversy after certain sections, including social activists accused her parents of the prime accuses in the case. 

The arrests also came 2 days after a social activist filed a complaint with the state police accusing the girl’s parents of being prime accused 

The father of the child was arrested on October 1 and her mother was caught two days later (October 3) as they appeared to be the prime suspects during the investigation, a police statement said.

The police had registered a suo-moto case under relevant sections of the Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act on September 20 following medical examinations that indicate that child was sexually abused. 

Initially, the child was diagnosed to have died of acute Loryngotracheobrontis (ALTB) with severe respiratory distress, when her body was being prepared to be handed over to her family by doctors some unnatural signs were spotted in her private parts, which could indicate sexual assault, a police statement said quoting the information they received from the private hospital.

The police rushed to the private hospital on September 17 and the girl’s body was sent for examination at Aizawl civil hospital, a well-known government in the state capital.

Subsequently, the gynaecologist and forensic doctor, who examined the body discovered old healed wounds on the girl’s private parts, which strongly indicated sexual abuse, police said.

However, the examination of the child’s samples at a forensic science laboratory in Aizawl revealed that ‘semen was not detected from the exhibits,’ they said. 

Suspecting foul play of sexual abuse, the police registered a case at all-women police station in Aizawl and launched a rigorous investigation.

During the investigation,  many people, including the child’s parents, grandparents, other relatives and local leaders of the girl’s locality were questioned. 

“The parents of the mild were the prime suspects, as they had always maintained during examination, that the custody of the child always remained with them only. Hence, on the basis of the circumstantial evidences, the father of the child was arrested on October 1 and subsequently the mother was also arrested on October 3 for sustained and thorough custodial interrogation, ” the police statement said.

Earlier on September 29, well known social activist Vanramchhuangi had filed FIR accusing the child’s parents of prime suspects and demanded their immediate arrest.

Vanramchhuangi, who is popularly known as Ruatfela Nu, had said in her FIR that there are none other than her parents to be suspected in the alleged crime. 

A few days later the girl’s family also filed FIR denying the allegations.

The family said that the allegation against to the parents only added salt to their wounds while they are mourning.

Aizawl Superintendent of Police (SP) C. Lalruaia said that the two fresh FIRs were not registered as the suo-moto case was already registered for the same incident and the case is under investigation. 

Last week, residents of the girl’s locality staged protest rally demanding justice to the deceased minor.

Earlier, the state police had arrested three youtubers for spreading misleading information about the case and exposing the girl’s identities, which were strictly prohibited under the POCSO Act. 

Lalruaia said that the couple are currently in police custody for questioning.

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