BAREILLY: A 22-year-old man – a rape accused, who was thought to have been “murdered” by the survivor’s kin, was found eight months later working as a labourer in Mumbai at a road construction firm, said police.
He had gone missing from his house in the Nigohi area of Uttar Pradesh’s Shahjahanpur district in April this year.
Accused Gopichand, who goes by his first name, had eloped with his neighbour’s 14-year-old daughter on April 24. The girl was later found by police on May 7 and Gopichand was booked under sections of rape, abduction and the POCSO Act, based on the complaint of the girl’s father. The girl after being found, told the magistrate that she was raped by the accused on multiple occasions.
However, police failed to trace Gopichand. Thereafter, they announced a Rs 25,000 reward on information leading to his arrest.
Later in July, Gopichand’s mother approached a Shahjahanpur court and filed an application under section 156 (3) of CrPC to register an FIR against the girl’s father and four of their relatives under sections of murder and abduction for allegedly “killing” her son, as his whereabouts were still unknown.
Senior superintendent of police (SSP) S Anand said, “Gopichand was trying to hide from police and didn’t use any of his IDs. We managed to track him via mobile surveillance. He was working at a road construction firm in Mumbai.” He added, “Gopichand and his family had conspired against the rape survivor’s family to force them to compromise in the ‘rape and abduction’ case. When we thoroughly investigated his disappearance and murder case, we found that he initially stayed at his brother’s place in Delhi and later moved to Mumbai. After further investigation, we found out that he was living in a guest house in the Thane area of Mumbai.”
“A team was sent to Mumbai on December 18 and Gopichand was arrested on Wednesday evening. His transit remand was taken through a Mumbai court and he will be brought to Shahjahanpur on Friday,” the SSP said.
(The victim’s identity has not been revealed to protect her privacy as per Supreme court directives on cases related to sexual assault)

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