Police have taken into a custody an autorickshaw driver in connection with the rape of a girl, who was found bleeding on a street in Madhya Pradesh's Ujjain city, and five others are also being questioned in the case, a senior official said on Thursday.
The police have also found some blood stains on the passenger seat of the autorickshaw of the detained man, he said.
According to Ujjain police, a counsellor interacted with the minor rape victim, and found that the latter belongs to Satna district. However, police in Satna said whether she is the same girl about whom a missing person's report was filed will be confirmed after her family identifies her.
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The girl, around 12 years of age, was found bleeding on a street located under the Mahakal police station area in Ujjain on Monday. After being found, she was taken to a hospital, where her initial medical examination confirmed that she had been raped, police have said.
The girl was on Wednesday operated upon by a team of specialist doctors in Indore and her condition is said to be critical but stable, they said.
"The police have taken an autorickshaw driver into custody on the basis of a video footage. We also found some blood stains on the passenger seat of the autorickshaw," Ujjain SP Sachin Sharma said.
"Five others are also being questioned," he said.
The girl's identity is yet to be established as she could not tell her name, age and address to the police properly.
"A counsellor interacted with the victim and found that she belongs to Satna district of Madhya Pradesh, where a report of a missing girl was filed at Jaitwara police station (in Satna) on September 25," he said.
Further probe into the incident is being carried out through a Special Investigation Team (SIT), he added.
Meanwhile, Satna's Additional Superintendent of Police Shivesh Singh Baghel said the missing person's report about a girl, aged around 13 years and wearing a school uniform, had been filed at Jaitwara police station.
The minor is a little cognitively-challenged as per the report filed by her family members, he said.
"After reading the news reports and seeing the images of the victim in a school uniform, police suspect that the rape survivor is the same missing girl. Accordingly, a team of police along with the victim's family members was sent to Ujjain for her identification," he said.
"If they identify the victim, further legal action will be taken in the matter," Baghel added.
Meanwhile, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Thursday slammed the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government in Madhya Pradesh over the incident, alleging that girls, women, tribals and Dalits are not safe under the "misrule" of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
"The brutality meted out to a little girl in Ujjain, the city of Lord Mahakal, is soul-shattering. After the torture, she kept wandering from door to door for help for two-and-a-half hours and then fell unconscious on the road but could not get help," she said on X.
"Is this the state of law and order and women's safety in Madhya Pradesh? Girls, women, tribals and Dalits are not safe in the 20 years of BJP's misrule," the Congress general secretary said.
The Congress on Wednesday accused the BJP government in Madhya Pradesh of being incapable of protecting the dignity of women and girls in the state after a video clip of the 12-year-old rape victim found bleeding on a street in Ujjain went viral on social media.
Amid massive public outrage, MP Home Minister Narottam Mishra announced on Wednesday that an SIT has been formed to probe the shocking crime.