The body of the 10-year-old was recovered on Saturday night
A schoolgirl from Tripura ethnic minority community has been reportedly raped and killed in Dighinala upazila in Khagrachari.
Police recovered her mutilated body from the jungle near Tapan Karabari Para in Merung union’s Noymile area under the upazila around 11:30pm on Saturday.
The deceased girl was later identified as 10-year-old Punati Tripura, daughter of late Narottam Tripura. She was a fifth grader in Noymile Tripurapara Junior School.
Her body was handed over to family members on Sunday morning after an autopsy at Khagrachhari Sadar Hospital.
The hospital’s Resident Physician Dr Noyonmoy Tripura said they had found sharp weapon wounds on different parts of Punati’s body.
He said a four-member medical team was also formed to look into the test results, and declined to comment further until the team submits their findings.
Merung Union Parishad Member Ganesh Tripura said the girl’s mother first alerted other family members and neighbours in the evening when she returned from work and found her nowhere.
They called the police after finding Punati’s body, which bore numerous wounds, in the jungle adjacent to the family’s house around 10:30pm Saturday.
Dighinala police OC Md Abdus Samad said any formal complaint or case over the incident was yet to be filed with them. “But we are already looking for suspects.”
Protesting Punati’s suspected rape and murder, Bangladesh Tripura Kalyan Sangsad’s Education and Cultural Affairs Secretary Doyananda Tripura has alleged that five teenagers and children were raped in the past three months in Khagrachhari alone.
“Now another child has been raped and murdered. The perpetrators of all these crimes must be brought to book,” he said.
Meanwhile, locals had blockaded the Khagrachhari-Dighinala Road at several places using timbers and logs till 1pm since the morning in protest against the incident.
They lifted the blockades after Khagrachhari MP Kujendra Lal Tripura, the district’s Deputy Commissioner Md Rashedul Islam and Superintendent of Police (SP) Ali Ahmed Khan assured them of immediate action.
Trying to calm the protesting locals, SP Khan had pledged proper investigation into the incident and bringing the real perpetrators to book.
However, later in the day, Parbatya Chattagram Pahari Chhatra Parishad, a pro-Jana Samhati Samiti (MN Larma) organization, demonstrated at Khagrachhari town’s Shapla Chattar in protest against the incident, demanding immediate arrest and punishment of the perpetrators.
Also, two other organizations backed by United People's Democratic Front (UPDF), Pahari Chhatra Parishad and Hill Women’s Federation, demonstrated at the town’s Swanirvar area making similar demands.