Toddler Snatched From Sleeping Mother at Indian Train Station, Raped and Beheaded, Police Say As 3 Men Arrested

Three people have been arrested in India on suspicion of abducting a 3-year-old girl from beside her sleeping mother, before raping and decapitating her.

CCTV footage captured one of the men, identified by police as Rinku Sahu, taking the young girl at the Tatanagar railway station in the city of Jamshedpur city in eatsern Jharkhand state last week, according to the Hindustan Times.

The girl and her mother were sleeping on the floor of the train station when the incident occurred. The mother told police that she had been living in West Bengal, but had left her husband and with her new partner Manu Mondal, traveled to Jamshedpur. They were planning to continue on to Odisha before the girl was abducted.

The Hindustan Times reported that Mondal had asked the mother not to bring her daughter with her when she eloped. When he realized she had, the pair reportedly had a heated argument.

In the CCTV footage, a man in shorts and a T-shirt can be seen casually approaching the pair, before picking the girl up and walking away at around 11:30 p.m. When she woke and realized her daughter was gone, the mother quickly phoned police and suggested that her partner was the culprit.

Police later found the girl's body near a police station in the Telco area of the city, though her head was missing and has still not been found. Officers soon arrested three men with the help of the CCTV footage, including Mondal. He was detained on suspicion of child trafficking.

The other two men were named by police as Sahu and his friend Kailash Kumar, both of whom are in their 30s. Sahu—a father of three—had only recently been released from prison after serving a sentence for kidnapping a 7-year-old boy in 2015, the Hindustan Times explained. He was also the subject of a police complaint in 2008, when he reportedly kidnapped another boy and attempted to rape the child's mother. Police described him as a psychopath.

Police sources told The Times of India that Sahu called Kumar after abducting the girl, summoning him to an industrial site just over 2 miles from the train station.

According to the Hindustan Times, Sahu told police that he and Kailash both raped the girl and strangled her to death when she would not stop crying. The Times of India reported that Sahu beheaded the girl "with a sharp weapon." The next day, he put her body in a bag and dumped it close to the police station.

Police are now conducting DNA testing of the girl's remains in an effort to conclusively identify her, the Hindustan Times reported. However, police explained her remains have already been handed back to the family and buried.

Noor Mustafa Ansari, the rail deputy superintendent of police of Tatanagar police station, said the girl's head had still not been found despite extensive searchers, which have been hampered by heavy rain.

"The weapon used by main accused Sahu and the jute bag in which he carried the body before dumping in the bushes too could not be traced," he said. "We will take the remand of both the accused persons soon and try to trace crucial exhibits."

India, rape, abduction, prisoner, arrest
This file photo shows an Indian policeman holds onto the hand cuffs of a detainee at a press conference at the police headquarters, in Srinagar, India, on April 24, 2019. TAUSEEF MUSTAFA/AFP/Getty