Vijayawada: The accused in the rape of a nine-year-old girl in Andhra Pradesh’s Guntur district may have committed suicide, police said on Thursday.
The 50-year-old rickshaw puller was seen heading towards Krishna river and reportedly told a man that he wants to end his life, Director General of Police M Malakondaiah said.
The police chief suspect the accused is mentally unsound. Subbaiah had married twice but both the wives had deserted him.
The rape in Dachepalli on Wednesday night caused huge outrage as people took to streets, demanding justice to the victim’s family.
While the relatives of the girl continued their protest through the night, others joined them on Thursday to block Addanki-Narketpally highway, leading to a huge traffic jam. The protesters demanded that the accused be immediately arrested. Some demanded that he be hanged in public.
Police had a tough time controlling the protesters, who vented their anger by damaging a few buses. The locals also observed a shutdown. Additional forces were called to control the situation.
The police chief said the situation was now fully under control and appealed to people to cooperate in maintaining law and order.
Malakondaiah said the accused had been booked under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Pocso) Act, which was amended last month by the Central government to prescribe capital punishment for the rapists of children younger than 12.
He said 17 special teams were set up to arrest the accused and police would make all efforts to file a chargesheet at the earliest.
The victim is undergoing treatment in a government-run hospital in Guntur. Two state ministers P. Pulla Rao and N. Anand Babu visited the hospital and promised all assistance to the girl’s family.
Taking a serious note of the incident, Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu directed district officials to ensure that the guilty is immediately brought to book and punished.