A nine-month-old girl died after a man apparently gagged her following suspected rape here Wednesday, triggering protests by enraged locals who demanded stern punishment to the accused.
The 28-year old accused, identified as Praveen of the same locality and working in a hotel, was arrested after interrogation, police said.
Police said they suspect it to be a case of rape and murder as blood was seen in the baby's private parts.
The man had taken away the baby to a nearby secluded place in the wee hours while she was asleep alongside her parents on the terrace of their house and allegedly sexually assaulted her, they said.
The girls mother noticed the child missing and informed her brother who went in search of her along with some others.
As they noticed the man walking with the baby covered in a towel, he dropped the child and tried to escape, but was caught and handed over to the police, who later arrested him.
The motionless child was rushed to a nearby hospital where doctors declared her brought dead, police said.
Condemning the incident, a large number of local people took to the streets demanding justice for the baby and stern punishment to the accused.
On a complaint by the family, a case had been registered against Praveen for Indian Penal Code offences including kidnap, rape and murder and under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, police added.
The body of the victim had been shifted to a state-run hospital and the exact cause of her death and whether she was sexually assaulted or not would be known after an autopsy, a police official said.
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