The truck driver, arrested on Monday for allegedly raping a six year-old and then murdering her by strangling her with her school belt in Rajasthan's Tonk district, is the father of two girls, one aged 17 years and the other just two years old, police said on Tuesday.
The crime occurred in village Khetadi under Aligarh police station in Tonk. The girl had gone missing after a sports function at her school on Saturday, and her family and others launched a search for her. Eventually, her blood-stained body was found in the bushes in a remote spot outside the village on Sunday and the police informed.
A special court here sent accused, Mahendra, to three days police remand on Tuesday.
A huge crowd gathered at the spot as he was being taken to the POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) court and advocates tried to attack him, while people continued raising slogans demanding death sentence for him.
The police had to form a strong security cover to allow the culprit to get into the court, and in the process, had a minor tussle with advocates.
According to Tonk's Superintendent of Police, Adarsh Sidhu, the accused, caught within 24 hours of the crime, was an alcoholic whose wife had left him a few months back over his regular fighting with her after drinking. His two daughters stay with their mother.
Police said that Mahendra's house was situated near the girl's school and on Saturday, he saw the minor coming out of school and his intentions turned foul.
He lured the girl by offering a chocolate and took her with him in truck. A few metres ahead from school, he raped her and strangulated her as he was scared that the girl would tell her family members as she knew him.
Aligarh Sub-Inspector Ramkrishna Choudhary said that Mahendra returned home in evening on Saturday and started searching for the girl with her family members. He returned late night to his home and went to sleep.
As police were informed on Sunday, a police team, along with forensic experts and a sniffer dog squad, reached the spot for investigations. The sniffer dog was made to tour the village but stopped in front of Mahendra's house. After seeing police outside his house, Mahendra disappeared, only to be caught soon.
Meanwhile Rajasthan State Child Rights Protection Commission President Sangeeta Beniwal reached Tonk on Monday and met the victim's family. She also questioned school authorities who did not see the unclaimed school bag lying unattended in the girl's classroom.
Beniwal said that had the school staff been a little alert, action would have taken on the girl's absence and she could have been saved. She said that she will speak to the authorities concerned in this endeavour.
Meanwhile, state Woman and Child Minister Mamta Bhupesh also reached Khedli village and gave an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh on behalf of Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot to the family.
The victim's parents stay in Madhya Pradesh while she was living with her maternal grandparents in the village.