Mumbai: A minor girl from Thane was raped and killed while on a school trip to Tungareshwar bird sanctuary in Mumbai’s Vasai area.
The body of 14-year-old victim — Aishwarya Pawar, a class VIII student of Holy Cross School in Nala Sopara township of Thane district — was found on Monday. Her autopsy report confirmed that she was raped before being murdered.
The girl had gone on a trip to Tungareshwar with around 150 students and guides. When a head count was done in the evening, Aishwarya — daughter of a rickshaw puller — was found missing.
Later she was found unclothed in the river with blood gushing out of her head.
Police had initially registered a case of accidental death. However, they changed the course of investigation after the post-mortem examination at the Vasai public health centre established rape. It was also confirmed that she was hit by a heavy object on the head, which might have caused her death.
Police officer Arun Nikum, who has been investigating the case, said, “A case of murder has been registered. Investigations are still underway.”
The police have recorded statements of the group members, but have failed to get any clue so far. They were trying to ascertain how Aishwarya strayed into the jungles. They were also questioning the teachers, who initially gave the drowning theory.
“It started raining heavily all of a sudden and the students were caught unaware,” a teacher had said citing it as the possible cause of the incident, which he had termed an accident.