Did freak accident kill 5-year-old girl?

While the arrested accused claims the child died when a prop fell on her, police sources say she may have been killed by asphyxiation; parents suspect foul play
After four-year-old Asifa Chaudhary's body was mysteriously found near Vile Parle (East) on the Western Express Highway (WEH) two days ago, her parents are crying foul, alleging police inaction. Cops meanwhile, have remained tight-lipped about the investigations. While some police sources claim that the girl was killed by suffocation, the arrested accused claims that she died when a prop at a decorator's shop fell on her.

Shrouded in mystery: Two days after the body of a young girl (below)
was found in a plastic bag in Vile Parle, cops have registered a case of
murder, claiming that she was suffocated. pic/vijay bate

Reacting to the incident yesterday, locals from Sakinaka, where the girl stayed, took out a morcha to the police station, demanding prompt and detailed investigations in the matter. "My daughter has been murdered, but the cops aren't bothering to take strong action. I am sure some influential people are behind this," alleged the victim's mother.

Cops, however, remained tight-lipped, refusing to divulge any information about the case. Senior Police Inspector Samadhan Dhanedhar, attached to the Sakinaka police station, said, "We have registered a case on charges of murder and disposal of evidence against the accused. We cannot reveal the name of the accused as it could hamper our investigations. More arrests will be made in connection with the case soon."

Sources say that during investigations, cops arrested a suspect and recorded his statement, in which he claimed that the girl died after a prop at a mandap decorator's shop where he worked fell on her head. The shop is located close to the girl's residence. He further said that soon after the incident, he called the owner of the shop, telling him what had happened. Fearing police action, the owner instructed the worker to get rid of the victim's body. On the same night, the worker, and the shop's manager hired a tempo and carried the body in a plastic bag to WEH, dumping it on a pavement in the Sambhaji Nagar area.

However, a police officer said on condition of anonymity, that preliminary findings have hinted that the girl's death could have been caused by suffocation, indicating that she was murdered. Post-mortem details are awaited.

The case
Asifa, a junior kindergarten student and resident of DPK compound in Sakinaka, went missing on January 1. Her parents lodged a missing person's complaint at Sakinaka police station. A day later, Vile Parle cops received a call, informing them that a minor's body had been found on the WEH. After Asifa's parents identified that the body was their daughter's, cops initiated an enquiry.

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