Police on Tuesday arrested a 14-year-old speech-impaired boy on the charge of raping and murdering a 10-year-old girl at Bejalatti in Bargur Hill. The arrest was made after the boy and his father, who helped him dispose his blood-stained clothes, surrendered to the Village Administrative Officer.
According to police sources, Chinnathayi, wife of Bomman of Bejalatti, left her daughter at the home of a close relative and went to a temple in Karnataka. The girl went missing and, after a search, her body was found at Sundaipodu in Bejalatti on August 5.
The Bargur police registered a case and sent the body to Coimbatore Medical College Hospital for autopsy, which confirmed that she was raped and strangled to death.
A police team, led by Additional SP Suresh Kumar was formed to nab the perpetrators of the crime. An inquiry revealed that the girl used to go to neighbouring houses to watch television programmes, especially the house of a temple priest called Nagaraj.
Once the inquiry began, a father and son, belonging to the village, surrendered at the office of Bargur VAO Muniappan on Tuesday. The father confessed that his son, who has had speech problems since his birth, had gone to the priest’s house on the day the girl went missing and had met her there. He said that at around 11 pm on August 3, his son informed him through signs that he had raped a girl and killed her in an unused hut in the area.
When the father went with him, he found the body, which he removed from there and left in a bush at Sundaipodu.
The father also confessed that he then burnt the blood-stained shirt and trousers of his son, and that the duo surrendered out of fear over the police searches. The VAO informed the police, who then arrested the father and son.
Police then took a teacher of a government school for the hearing and speech impaired at RN Pudur, near Bhavani, to the village and the teacher interpreted the sign language of the boy, from which a statement was recorded.
The police have not revealed the names of the accused and the victim, as both are minors.