The decomposed body of Nancy Jha was found on the bed of a river on May 27, two days after the resident of Mahadeva Math in Madhubani district of north Bihar, went missing.
Nudged by the public outcry on the social media and in Madhubani, Patna and New Delhi , the Bihar police headquarters, have formed a special investigation team (SIT) to probe the abduction and brutal killing last week of a 12-year old girl, Nancy Jha, in Andhramath (Laukahi) area of north Bihar’s Madhubani district.
The girl, a class 6 student, had gone missing on May 25. Two days later, on May 27, her body, disfigured beyond recognition and decomposed, was retrieved from the bed of Tilyuga river, about 1.5 km from her home in Mahadeva Math locality.
The post-mortem examination confirmed she had been strangled to death.
Two suspects have been arrest\ed in connection with the girl’s murder but some locals suspect the real culprits may not have been caught. Station house officer of Andhramath PS, Rajiv Kumar, was placed under suspension on the charge of negligence in duty, on the orders of Darbhanga range DIG, Vinod Kumar..
Additional director general of police (ADG), headquarters, Sanjiv Kumar Singhal said, the SIT has been formed under the supervision of ASP, Jhanjharpur, Nidhi Rani, an IPS officer of 2014 batch, for a thorough inquiry into the murder.
Singhal said, the Darbhanga DIG had found that the SHO had ordered an assistant sub-inspector (ASI) rank police officer to investigate the sensational murder, instead of himself pursuing the case, proactively. .
“The DIG, along with the SIT members, had visited the spot to gather information. Now, ASP Nidhi Rani is carrying out further investigation into the case from different angles”, Singhal added.
The case has provoked an unprecedented outrage in the entire Mithilanchal and Kosi belts of north Bihar, with thousands of people taking to the streets and recourse to the social media to vent their horror over the incident and the subsequent police inaction.
Spontaneous marches have materialised in Madhubani, while the people of Patna took out a candle march in protest against the murder, on Thursday. In Delhi, last Wednesday, a large number of people took out a march and staged a dharna at Jantar-Mantar to demand justice for little Nancy.
Sources said, the main suspect in the murder was caught by the people and handed over to the police in an inebriated state, but let off as the police they did not have sufficient grounds to detain him. Though drunk, the man was not even booked under the excise act, as he should have been.
Some locals believe had the man been arrested It did not even book him under the Excise Act 2016, which bans use of liquor.
Madhubani SP Deepak Barnwal told HT that two named accused– Pawan Jha and Lalu Jha– had already been arrested and sent to judicial custody. The two are neighbours of Nancy’s father, Kumar Ravindra Narayan, who runs a private school, and have been named as suspects in the case, in an FIR he has lodged.
The two have, however, denied their role in the abduction and murder.
Barnwal said that a medical board, comprising two lady doctors, which performed the post-mortem on Nancy’s body, at the Begusarai sadar hospital, has ruled out rape and held the cause of her death was asphyxia, which suggests the girl was strangled.
“The post-mortem clearly says there was no medical evidence of rape or even an acid attack”, the SP said.
A theory doing the rounds was that Nancy may have been abducted to stop her aunt’s impending wedding. Buit when the family went ahead with the wedding, on May 26, the kidnappers killed the girl. This is among the various possibilities that the police are looking at.