Surat, April 15: At a time when the nation is boiling over Kathua and Unnao rape cases, another incident of same kind has been reported from Surat. The police on April 6 found a body of a minor girl, who is believed to be between 9 to 11 years of age, from the bushes of a cricket stadium in Bhestan locality of the district in Gujarat. The identity of the girl has not been ascertained yet. It bears 86 injury marks, revealed the post-mortem report.

Surat Police Commissioner Satish Sharma, briefing on the incident, said on Sunday announced a reward for anyone who provides information about the victim or her family. “1200 posters have been posted across Surat for identification of girl. Have announced reward of Rs 20,000 for anyone providing information about the victim or her family. Case has been handed over to crime branch,” he was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

According to officials, the body was held captive and subjected to rape and torture over a period of time.

The police have taken the help of print as well as social media to ascertain her identity. Her pictures have been circulated through WhatsApp with a hope that someone who knows her would identify her, a police official said.

Ganesh Govekar, the doctor who conducted the post-mortem of the body confirmed the presence of “86 injury marks”on the girl’s body. He further added that according to the nature of the injuries, “they seem to have been caused in the period ranging from one week to one day prior to the recovery of the body, suggesting that the girl might have been held captive, tortured and possibly raped”.

The case has been handed over to crime branch and sections such as 302 (Punishment for murder), 323 (Punishment for voluntarily causing hurt), and 376 (Punishment for rape), and under provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) against the unidentified culprits have been levied. The Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) has been engaged in the investigation.

In similar incident, an eight-year-old girl was kidnapped, raped and murdered by a group of men in Kathua of Jammu and Kashmir. She was kept inside a temple in Rasana village where the accused, who include temple official and policemen, sedated and gangraped her for several days before strangulating her to death and dumping the body in a nearby forest.