'Raped' by relative, baby girl dies in Gujarat


A two-and-a-half-year-old girl allegedly raped by a distant relative at Halol in Panchmahals district died Monday night at SSG Hospital in Vadodara where she was brought for treatment three days ago.

The girl succumbed to infections around 1 am even as doctors were preparing to operate upon her after she developed complications.

The girl's father, Hariprasad Daka, who hails from Nepal and works at Halol as a private security guard, said he never suspected his wife's relative would ever commit such a crime. "I had known that Keshav Joshi (the suspect, currently in police custody) was a criminal-minded person who would often get into fights," Daka said. "But I never knew he would ever commit such a crime."

Daka said Joshi had visited his family often in the past, but on Friday evening, he suddenly arrived after a gap of three years. "We sat down for dinner together, but Joshi finished his meal in a hurry and rushed out even before we could finish ours. We thought he would be back, but soon we realised our daughter was also missing," he said.

Daka and his wife rushed out to search for their daughter and were joined in by their neighbours. Soon, they found Joshi lying covered in blood at a secluded corner. "Sensing that something was wrong, we asked him what he was up to. He did not say anything. We found our daughter lying in a thorny bush nearby, covered in blood," Daka said.

Joshi was handed over to the police.

Halol police inspector and investigating officer in the case, J K Patel, said the accused was under police custody and Section 302 of the IPC (murder charge) would also be pressed against him since the girl had died. "He worked as a watchman at Nadiad," Patel said.

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