Mirik molestation, rape on 2 minor girls, accused arrested

Mirik molestation, rape on 2 minor girls, accused arrested
Two separate incidents of molestation and rape on two minor girls were reported from Mirik on Saturday, unsettling the otherwise peaceful atmosphere of the tourist destination. The accused have been arrested and the victims sent for medical tests to the North Bengal Medical College and Hospital in Siliguri.
The Mirik police have registered cases under Section 4 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) against Sridhar Rai (62) of Nighaley, and Section 8 of the POSCO against Suraj Tamang (24) of Kawley after the victims’ parents lodged written complaints.
Eight-year-old primary school student Preeti (name changed) was allegedly sexually assaulted by Suraj after luring her with chocolates and candies. According to the locals, the accused is unemployed and is addicted to narcotics.
Preeti's father said, "I came to know about the incident when I came home. My daughter was playing with her classmates near a dam in the locality. Her friends were called home by their parents and my daughter was left alone in that place for a while. But she did not turn up at home till late in the evening and we started searching for her. My cousin and his friends found her with Suraj behind a bush. Suraj said he was taking her home, but my daughter narrated the entire ordeal to her mother upon reaching home."
In the second incident at Nighaley, Sridhar Rai allegedly lured 10-year-old Samina (name changed) with a 50 rupee note yesterday afternoon and took her inside a bedroom where he allegedly molested her. Samina's father, a worker in Thurboo tea garden, said, "I was at work at the time and my daughter narrated her horrific experience to my father. The culprit should be punished severely so that such incidents do not recur."
The two victims have been released by the NBMCH after medical examinations. The police will send the test results for forensic tests on Monday. Local NGOs have demanded strict judicial action against the accused. Deepti Bhandari, president of Wings Foundation, Mirik and Tej Kumar Thapa, child protection officer of Bal Suraksha Abhiyan Trust, Kalimpong are with the victims' families to provide them all necessary support.(EOI)

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