16-Year-Old Strangles and Burns Nine-Year-Old Neighbor in Gurgaon

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Gurgaon, 2nd July 2024: A tragic incident occurred in a housing society on Monday morning when a 16-year-old boy allegedly strangled his nine-year-old neighbour after she caught him attempting to steal from her flat. To destroy evidence, the boy set her body on fire using camphor and cloth found nearby.

This case marks the first in the city to be handled under the new Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNS), which has replaced the Indian Penal Code. The boy had entered the neighbour’s flat to steal jewellery while the girl’s mother and brother were visiting his flat. Both families live in adjacent towers of the Sector 107 society, built under an affordable housing scheme. The Rajendra Park police station registered the case.

The boy informed investigators that he believed the flat was empty and panicked when the girl unexpectedly emerged from the washroom. The girl’s father, a factory machine operator, was at work, leaving her alone at home. She was likely checking on a noise she heard when the boy entered. The door was latched but not locked, as her family expected to return soon.

He confessed to strangling her with a dupatta on a bed. When he realized she was not breathing, he used camphor and a matchbox from the ‘pooja ghar’ to set her on fire, hoping to eliminate his fingerprints and other evidence. The murder occurred around 10 AM.

Police are still investigating the motive behind the theft attempt. “We received a call around 10:45 AM about the incident. We have apprehended the minor. The matter is under investigation,” said DCP (West) Karan Goyal. “Preliminary investigations suggest the accused attempted to steal some jewellery, leading to the incident. We are conducting a thorough interrogation to gather more details. This is the first case lodged under BNS in the city,” stated police spokesperson Sandeep Kumar.

In her police complaint, the girl’s mother recounted coming home to find the iron gate of their flat locked but the wooden door ajar. “I saw my neighbor’s son inside and smelled something burning. I immediately called my neighbors and the fire department. They entered the flat through the puja room. Inside the bedroom, we discovered my daughter’s partially burnt body,” she stated.

The body was sent for an autopsy, while forensic teams and a dog squad collected evidence from the flat. The boy has been charged under Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita sections 103 (1) (murder), 238 (a) (causing disappearance of evidence punishable with death or giving false information to screen offender), 305 (theft in a dwelling house, or means of transportation or place of worship, etc.), and 62 (attempt to commit offences punishable with imprisonment for life or other imprisonments).