Minor girl allegedly raped in orphanage five months ago dies in Hyderabad

A 14-year old orphan girl, who was allegedly raped by a man repeatedly at an orphanage in March, died on Wednesday at a government hospital in Hyderabad where she was being treated, police said.

Patancheru deputy superintendent of police R Rajeshwar Rao said the ghastly incident happened at an orphanage in Ameenpur on the outskirts of Hyderabad sometime before the enforcement of lockdown in the country in the last week of March due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We are yet to ascertain the exact period when the sexual assault on the girl had happened,” he said.

The prime accused – Venugopal, a donor of the orphanage and two others including, orphanage warder Vijaya and her brother Jayadeep – had already been arrested last month and sent to judicial remand, the DSP said.

A case was booked against Venugopal under Sections 376(3), 342, 323, 328, 506 and 109 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and 5(l) read with Section 6 of the POCSO Act on July 31. “Now that the girl has died, we are examining the possibility of altering the sections to make it as a rape and murder case,” Rao said.

Investigations revealed that the girl was admitted in the orphanage by her uncle in 2015 after both her parents had died in an accident. Venugopal, who used to come to the orphanage frequently, had allegedly assaulted her sexually several times, as a result of which she had developed health complications.

After the lockdown, the girl came to her uncle’s place in Bowenpally. When her relatives noticed that she was not keeping well, they took her to a local hospital where the doctors confirmed that she had been sexually assaulted. They lodged a complaint with the local police who later transferred the case to Ameenpur police station.

The relatives first admitted her in a juvenile home for girls from where she was taken to Niloufer Hospital, Hyderabad in the last week of July. With her condition deteriorating, she was shifted to the Intensive Care Unit and had been kept on a ventilator. She succumbed in the early hours of Wednesday.

The police said the girl’s body was handed over to her relatives after autopsy for last rites.

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