KEY POINTS

  • The 9-year-old girl died Sunday
  • The suspects reportedly told the girl's mother that she was electrocuted to death
  • The suspects were arrested on charges of murder, rape, and criminal intimidation Monday 

A 9-year-old girl in India was allegedly raped and murdered by a priest and three employees of a crematorium, who then cremated her body in a hurry without her parents' consent or informing the police. The four suspects were arrested after the girl’s family alleged foul play, police said.

The incident happened in a village in India's capital city of Delhi on Sunday, Hindustan Times reported.

The girl's family lived near a crematorium where bodies are cremated as per Hindu funeral rituals. According to police, the girl went out Sunday evening to get some cold water from a water cooler at the crematorium. After half an hour, Radhey Shyam, the 55-year-old priest of the crematorium, and the other suspects called the girl's mother to the crematorium saying that she got electrocuted while drinking water from the water cooler.

The mother said she found injury marks on her daughter’s wrist and elbow and her lips were blue, police said, according to India Today.

The suspects then reportedly told the girl's mother that not to inform the police. They told her that if she reports the incident, the girl's body would be sent for an autopsy where her organs will be stolen, police said. 

"The four men asked the girl’s mother to not inform the police about the death. They told her that the police will register a case and the body will be sent for an autopsy, during which doctors will remove her vital organs and sell them. The four then cremated the body,” Deputy Commissioner of Police, Ingit Pratap Singh said, as reported by Hindustan Times.

The girl was then cremated without the mother's consent who then raised an alarm and called her husband. Around 200 villagers gathered at the crematorium Sunday night and carried out a protest till Monday evening, demanding that the arrested persons be booked on rape and murder charges.

The police then booked the four suspects -- Shyam, and three employees Salim, Laxmi Narayan, and Kuldeep -- on charges of murder, rape, and criminal intimidation and arrested them, Singh added.

Police had initially registered a case against the suspects on culpable homicide not amounting to murder, wrongful confinement, and destruction of evidence. However, based on circumstantial evidence, the new charges were added following the protest, reports said.

arrest Representational image Photo: Pixabay