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Out on bail, 'rapist' rapes, kills 7-yr-old

Twice accused of rape, 50-year-old drug addict allegedly rapes and kills a minor; residents thrash him

A seven-year-old girl was murdered after being raped by a drug-addled neighbour in suburban Goregaon yesterday, police said. The accused, an auto driver identified as Babaji Kamble, is around 50 years of age, and has two rape cases lodged against him already. He is given to smoking hash, neighbours said.

"Kamble was arrested and taken to a civic-run hospital as residents of Teen Dongri slums, where he lives, had thrashed him for the crime," said Shivaji Mandle, senior inspector at Goregaon police station. "The girl had been missing since afternoon. Her parents searched the area but could not find her. Finally, they found her lying unconscious in Kamble's house." The crime occurred last afternoon around 1 pm, when Kamble kidnapped the child after luring her with chocolates.

As her parents searched the slum frantically over the next few hours, they went to check all the houses. As Kamble did not answer the door, the parents and the locals, aware of his criminal past and behaviour, got anxious. They knocked the door down, and found Kamble passed out on his bed.

Under the bed lay the little girl, unconscious, battered and bleeding, her mouth gagged. One could tell she had been brutally beaten as her body had become puffed and bloated, locals said, adding that they had complained against him several times, but the police paid no heed to their objections.

As the angry mob punched and whacked Kamble, his victim was rushed to a nearby hospital where she was declared dead, police officials said. "The accused has been booked under Sections 376 (rape) and 302 (murder) of the IPC," Mandle said, adding, "His interrogation would reveal what had exactly happened."

Some eight years ago, Kamble had been accused of raping a nine-year-old. Before that, he had allegedly raped another woman. His harassed wife left him six years ago. He has a son who visits him occasionally.

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