INDORE: An autorickshaw driver was arrested in Ujjain on Thursday for the rape of a minor girl, whose video clip of being shooed away by people while pleading for help in a bleeding, half-naked state has shocked the country. The accused, Bharat Soni, tried to escape from custody when he was taken to the crime spot for forensic investigation, and fell on the road, injuring himself.
After a video of the girl pleading for help went viral on Wednesday, Ujjain police formed a 28-member SIT headed to probe the case.Based on CCTV footage of the last 72 hours, five auto drivers were rounded up and interrogated, IGSantosh Kumar Singh said. The SIT zeroed in on Soni, who admitted to the crime.

‘Chased by cops, rape accused threw stones’

The accused was arrested and led cops to the survivor’s bloodstained clothes.
Inspector general Santosh Kumar Singh told TOI that police relied extensively on technical evidence, especially footage from CCTV cameras in various areas, to establish the chain of events, since the survivor was unable to make a statement.
“The accused found the minor girl alone on Monday morning and offered her a lift. He took her to an isolated spot in Jeevankhedi village and raped her. He left her there and fled,” said Singh.
Another auto driver later dropped the survivor near a residential colony, where she went door to door seeking help for two and a half hours before she fell unconscious opposite an ashram. A priest found her and called police.

“We found bloodstains on the back seat of an autorickshaw and its owner, Rakesh Malviya, was detained for questioning. Later, it was established that he had found the survivor in an injured state and had given her a lift,” said IG Singh. Malviya, however, did not inform police.
The survivor is from Chetpura village in Satna and had gone missing from home in her school dress on September 24. She reached Ujjain by train and asked for a lift from several autorickshaw drivers, but did not know where to go. She then boarded the auto of Soni, who took her to Jeevankhedi and raped her.
Police said it was still not clear why the minor had left Satna and come to Ujjain. Her father is mentally unstable and her mother has not been living with the family for the past few years. The girl had been staying with her grandfather and elder brother.

Meanwhile, SP Sachin Sharma said the accused was taken to the crime spot in Jeevankhedi when he attempted to flee. Chased by two cops, he threw stones at them and fell and injured his leg. Two policemen were also injured, the SP said.
Apart from rape, the accused has now also been booked under various IPC sections for obstructing a public servant from discharging his duties and resisting his lawful apprehension.

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