Gangtok: In a shocking incident, an 11-year-old schoolgirl was allegedly sexually assaulted and then strangled to death while going back home by a cab driver in Gangtok. The Gangtok police have arrested Pritam Sharma (29), who originally hails from Bihar but drives a taxi in Gangtok, for the alleged crime which took place last week. The arrest was made on Monday by a special investigating team in Gangtok.
The accused has been booked under IPC Section 302 and sent to police remand for 14 days till May 1 by a local court. According to the police, the victim`s body was found in an isolated forest near Pangthang, located in the periphery of Gangtok, on April 14. The victim had been reported as missing by her mother since April 10.
Based on CCTV footage of various locations, the police tracked Pritam, who has been driving a taxi in Gangtok for the past 10 years. Sharing detail of the heinous crime, senior police officers said that during interrogation, the accused admitted to sexually assaulting and strangling the victim to death.
The accused had given the victim, who was in her school uniform, a lift in his taxi because it was raining, but took her to the isolated forest, said the police.
Akshay Sachdeva, Sikkim Police Special DGP, while addressing a press briefing in Sadar Police Station, stated that after the body was found in Pangthang, the postmortem suggested that the victim was strangulated and sexually assaulted.
The victim`s mother and her relatives have demanded that the accused be hanged to death. The incident has sparked massive anger among local Gangtok residents who have demanded the strictest punishment for the accused cab driver.