Delhi teen kills 2-year-old to ‘avenge insult’
New Delhi, Jun 18: The baby’s still mouth was red and sticky with watermelon juice. Its lifeless body looked tense and twisted after the final struggle. The hand that had hushed and lured her upstairs with a slice of watermelon, had clamped around her tender neck like a vice till there was no sign of life. But the murderer, a 15-year-old girl, was calm.
A TV was playing in the small room, and when the girl heard voices coming upstairs she turned up the sound. They asked her from outside if she had seen the missing baby, her neighbour’s daughter. She replied “no”. The voices went away, and the girl still didn’t break down. She stuffed the two-year-old’s body into a plastic bag, hid it inside her schoolbag and went out, past the door of the baby’s agitated family and through the neighbourhood rife with rumours. She hailed an auto, rode to a wooded area near a lake and dumped the body there.
On returning home, the class XI student showered and got back to her books. She had avenged her “insult” and the murder was a closed chapter for her. But the baby’s disappearance would fox police for days. Her body wasn’t found until June 13-three days after the murder-and then only because the girl sent her 10-year-old brother to the spot on a vague pretext. Perhaps she wanted him to stumble upon it and get the case moving out of a perverse sense of curiosity.
The boy, just 10 years old, had no knowledge of his sister’s crime although he had been around her on the afternoon of June 10 when she lured the baby to her room and killed it. On finding the body, the boy raised an alarm, alerting passersby who called police.
That same evening the killer girl left town to attend a family function. But by the time she returned on June 15, police had had time to think over the case and suspected her for several reasons. She was the last person with whom the baby’s mother had an argument. And she had sent her brother on a wild errand to the very spot where the body was lying.
She was questioned in the presence of women cops and NGO officials, and spun a new story. She confessed she had carried the baby in her schoolbag but claimed that she acted out of fear as a stranger had dumped the body at her doorstep on June 10. More questions brought the truth out. Her brother, who was standing nearby, collapsed hearing the account of her brutality.
The girl told police she killed the baby because its mother had insulted her publicly a few days earlier. She had been very close to the woman, though, so nobody suspected her at the time. Police and neighbours who came up to her house that afternoon had returned satisfied with her word.
Initially, a midwife whom the baby’s mother had not paid was considered a suspect, but no evidence was found against her.
The case was cracked when DCP (east) Ajay Kumar roped in the special task force (STF). Inspector K G Tyagi and his team analyzed all aspects of the case and zeroed in on the girl. It had to be a neighbour, they decided, as the baby had disappeared within 10 minutes of being seen by a family member. The killer’s cellphone location left police in no doubt about her involvement.
The girl has been provided counselling and sent to a correctional facility. A chargesheet will be submitted to the court soon, police said