An eleven-yearold Class VII student was raped and sodomized for 30 minutes by a tempo driver inside the vehicle in Sakinaka on Tuesday night. When the 30-year-old accused learned that the police were on his trail, he chopped off his “funky hair” but was caught within 24 hours of the crime from his Sakinaka residence. Police have seized his mobile phone and retrieved the minor’s photos which he had clicked before committing the offence.

The crime took place when the girl and her 11-year-old male friend were returning home around 10pm on Tuesday after playing garba some distance away from their residence.

Alleged rapist had consumed narcotics: Police

The accused, an unemployed man who works part-time as a tempo driver, spotted the two children. “Khan had consumed some narcotic substance that day. He followed the children and when they reached a deserted spot, he attacked the girl’s friend who got frightened and fled. The accused then raped and sodomized the girl and released her around 10.30pm,” said a Sakinaka police official.

The child was since hospitalized. She has been discharged but is in shock.

After the accused released her, she went home and narrated her ordeal to her mother who took her to the police station. In her police statement, the child said she told her mother about the crime when asked to explain the delay in reaching home. “I was terrified but somehow managed to walk through the deserted lane to reach home. The man threatened me and clicked my photos and my friend’s too on his phone. He then slapped my friend and asked him to leave. He threatened me and told me to remain quiet before raping me. The entire stretch was deserted and there was no one around to help me.”

Based on the complaint, DCP Navinchandra Reddy (Zone X) supervised a team of Sakinaka police senior inspector Kishore Sawant, inspector Sunil Mane, assistant inspector Abdul Rauf and the detection staff, and arrested the accused on Wednesday.

“The victim and her friend helped us prepare his sketch that helped us get a lead from informers about his whereabouts. Meanwhile, he tried to change his hairstyle to evade arrest but we managed to nab him. He had deleted the girl’s photo from his phone but we retrieved it with the help of the forensic lab,” said a police official. The accused, who is in police custody, has been booked under Indian Penal Code sections 376 for rape and 377 for unnatural offences, and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Pocso) Act. Police are probing if he had committed similar offences in the past. He is married and has a daughter.