Toddler buried alive in marshy land, post-mortem reports will determine if she was sexually assaulted: cops
Two persons including a transgender were arrested Friday for allegedly kidnapping and murdering a three-month-old girl in south Mumbai. The duo killed the toddler, called Aarya by her family, by burying her alive in marshy land along the Arabian Sea, police said.
Aarya resided with her parents and grandparents at Ambedkar Nagar in Cuffe Parade. According to police, the transgender was angry at the family for not paying her money upon the child’s birth and killed Aarya to teach them a lesson.
The toddler was kidnapped from her house in the wee hours on Friday, police said. “She was sleeping with her parents and six-year-old brother when she was allegedly kidnapped,” said a police officer.
The incident came to light at 2 am when her mother woke up, police said. She saw that her daughter was missing, after which she informed her husband and inquired with her in-laws, who were sleeping on the mezzanine floor of the one-plus-one structure, police said.
After Aarya could not be found, the family, along with local residents reported the incident at Cuffe Parade police station, where a case of kidnapping was registered, police said.
“We had named the transgender, Kanhiya Chaugule, known as Kanu, as the prime suspect as she had come to our house on Thursday evening and demanded Rs 2,000 and other valuables as a baby girl was born in our house,” said her grandfather, Chandrakant Chitkote, adding, “We did not give Kanu any money and asked her to come on the day of the toddler’s naming ceremony, due to which there was a verbal argument between them. Kanu then made threats and left.”
But soon after the case was registered at Cuffe Parade police station, Kanu learnt that the family had made allegations against her and allegedly went to the police station and surrendered at 7 am.
“Kanu told us that the allegations made by the family were baseless. But during interrogation, she confessed to the crime and named an accomplice who helped in the killing,” said an officer.
The alleged accomplice, identified as Sonu Kale, was also arrested.
During inquiries, the police came to know that Kanu met Sonu after the verbal spat with the toddler’s family.
Senior Police Inspector Rajkumar Dongare of Cuffe Parade police station said, “The transgender then told him that she was upset because the family had refused to give her money. They then decided to teach them a lesson after which Sonu took her to their house.”
According to police, the family had left the door of their house open due to the humid weather. Kanu and Sonu took advantage of this fact to enter and kidnap the toddler, police said. “They then went to marshy land nearby and Sonu buried Aarya alive,” added Dongare.
The duo took the investigators to the spot at 1 pm, where the remains of Aarya were recovered and sent to JJ Hospital for post-mortem.
“The post-mortem reports will help us ascertain whether the toddler was raped before she was killed,” said Dongare, adding that preliminary investigation reveals that the toddler was not sexually assaulted.
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