A Special True Crime Series by Tarak Ghosh
On April 20, 2004, Jalandhar police recovered the body of Diksha (7), who had gone missing along with her sister Asha (5) on on 20 April,2004, from a river near Khadoor Sahib. Diksha and Asha, daughters of a Rasta Mohalla resident, Gobind Ram. She had gone missing from the local Nehru Garden, Jalandhar.
On the same day Darbara also kidnapped Shankar, a boy of 8 from GTB Nagar, Satish and his sister Guria from Model Town. Guria was the sister of Satish. Satish was a little boy of 6 and Guria was 10. They were both killed. In April Darbara kidnapped 5 children in total, two boys and three girls. Three of them were found killed.
The incident is fictionalized and the names of the victims have been changed to protect privacy.
Leather Complex is an industrial area of Jalandhar in the state of Punjab, India. Most of the residents of the complex are migrant laborers from eastern India who work in the leather factories. The man started working in a factory in the Leather Complex area and moved to a rented room in the Model Town locality. He worked in the factory in the night shift and at day time he searched for the children. It was safe because most of the residents worked in the factories in the day shift.
It was about 11 am. The middle-aged man was seen coming out from his residence on riding a bicycle. His hair was partly white. He paddled for a few minutes towards a park and then climbed down from his cycle. He gripped the handle bar and pushed forward.
Suddenly his eyes were locked onto the children playing in the Nehru Garden. Checking his watch he saw it was already almost 11 am and he knew it was the right time to start his operation. He looked all around. No adults were visible anywhere. He checked his watch one more time and saw the time was 11.05 am. He chewed his lower lip and looked back toward the tree where his bi-cycle was. He started walking over to the children busy in playing. He had a bag full of toffees with him. He checked the bag. A cruel and filthy smile flashed on his cruel eyes.
Suddenly he noticed two men crossing the ground. He waited in silence until they left. He was looking very confident when he finally reached the children. He already noticed Mina and her sister Nita playing with their cousins. Mina was a little girl of 7 and Nita was just 5. They were the residents of Rasta Mahalla, a laborer-colony adjacent to his residence. The man saw them giggling while walking over to them.
They stopped playing and looked at the man, aged about 50 years, height 5′-8″, clean shaven, hair having mixture of black and white and a mole on the right eye brow. The man smiled a sweet smile at them.
“I know little fairies, you need shuttle cock and rackets and these are important to play the badminton, don’t you?”
The girls stared at him. Their little brain could not guess why that unknown person wanted to buy them rackets. They stared at him with an innocent smile. The man came closer to them and sat on the ground. Before saying more, he checked the surrounds with his cruel eyes.
“But I couldn’t recognize you, have I seen you before?” The older girl asked.
“You can call me uncle, a good uncle who wants to help his little fairies, Can’t you?”
The girls already stopped playing and kept watching him curiously. They could not understand what they had to say. They were really confused. Rackets and shuttle cock were dragging them, but they could not judge the man.
The two girls were hesitating and looking around. But, the greed finally washed their all thoughts and they started believing that man.
The younger girl said, “Where we have to go? Will we back soon?”
“Yes my babies, we back right. I just want you smiling after getting the badminton sets. I love little poor children who want to smile, but circumstances don’t let them smile.”
The children couldn’t understand what he told or what he actually wanted to tell, but felt that the man might be kind enough, better than their father who didn’t allow them to have toys. They didn’t know how to deal with this situation, so they agreed with his proposal.
He told a girl to sit on the front rod and the other on the carrier. He looked wildly in every direction and bounced on the seat. The innocent girls watched the town disappeared behind them and the cycle started proceeding towards the canal. Mina couldn’t know that was her last journey and she would never back there.
They didn’t know how much time had passed and where they were going. Finally, the man stopped paddling and announced that they had finally arrived. He helped the girls climbed off and laid the bicycle to one side.
The man took a girl to the side of a canal nearby. He told the other girl to wait there until they back. She waited there, but could not see where they were going because the place was shielded from the view of her by bushes.
The man set his palm on the girl’s mouth and fiercely pulled at her arm. Being confused the little girl looked at him. Her eyes were popping out in disbelief. She could not believe how a ‘uncle-like’ man could change himself within a few minutes. She saw a change in her eyes, a mix of cruelty and lust. She stared at him and discovered an angry beast rising in him. He was looking like a mad dog that she had seen once in her locality. Her parents advised her to beware of mad dogs. Her mouth was dry. She wondered if anyone had figured out they were missing yet. These situations did not happen to common people like her.
She kicked and struggled as best as she could but it did no good as the man was stronger than she. He kept her pressed back against him by the hand over her mouth as he used his other hand to push a knife against her throat softly. She screamed and thrashed and writhed, but she was just a little thing and it was pretty easy to keep a hold of her until she figured out what that hard thing was poking at the side of her throat.
read more: Serial Child Killers of India
“Don’t scream. And it is better for you. If you try to shout you are dead.” Suddenly the man removed his hand from her mouth and the girl said, “Please let me go uncle, I won’t tell anyone. Please.” “Exactly my little darling. You are nothing but worms. This is why I chose both of you.” He bound her wrists behind her. She started pleading with him, explaining he might have her mistaken. She hadn’t done anything! She wasn’t anyone important!
“Please!” she cried suddenly! “Please tell me why I’m here! What is happening? Who are you?”
“No one noticed you’re gone.” The elder girl bit back a sob of fear, the harsh force in his voice felt like he’d punched her in the throat. She squirmed; his grip on her hand was painful. “Please uncle,” she made doe eyes at him. “You’re hurting me!”
Her eyes were glistening with tears. “Please” she whimpered. He stroked her face, the skin burning where he had hit her. She whimpered pathetically. She was scared. She closed her eyes and the shame and humiliation rushed over her.
“I thought you weren’t going to kill me?” she asked, coughing. He helped her sit up, unshackling her quickly and leading her to the bush. He wrestled her to the ground. He cut the straps of her frock and She tried to resist him with her bare, thin arms, but couldn’t do anything. The beast pulled her pant and bent down and licked and sucked her. In no more than a second or two, the man pulled her forehead towards her and made a vicious cut across her throat with the knife. Then he threw her on the ground and sat on top of her and raped her dead body repeatedly.
Suddenly, he looked up, hearing the crunching of leaves and saw the other girl staring at him. Her eyes were trying to
Leaving the dead body of Mita, the man jumped up and pulled on his pants. In the mean time the little girl started running.
Her body shivered as he got closer and closer, her temptation to run was almost unbearable. She twisted her upper body, commanding her feet to turn with her. Suddenly, she felt her face hit the sticks and leaves that, just a moment ago, had been underneath her. Her legs didn’t want to move, her body was unable to run. Steadily the man stepped closer to her; he was now close enough that she could hear his footsteps, though they sounded muffled, as if he was walking on carpet. Kristi shook her head, trying to make her ears work again.
She looked at him, and watched his determination to have her grow behind his dark eyes. Sheer panic took over her body. Her fists threw out uncontrollable blows, her feet kicked and flailed, and when she believed that his grip on her had been severed, she started to run. Her feet hit the gravel path hard as she pounded away from him, losing herself in the dark trees.
She closed her eyes and put all her effort into running.
After the incident (The original names of the victims are used.)
When the two girls did not return for a long time, their cousins rushed home and informed the family. The family searched for the girls all the possible places they might go and finally, they registered a missing persons complaint. Later, a man named Malkiat Singh found Asha in Fazilpur village in Tarn Taran district. He gave her biscuits and medicines, and then brought her to the Khadoor Sahib police station. The police control room then informed the Jalandhar police station that a girl named Ashu had been found in Tarn Taran.
On April 20, the police found Diksha’s naked dead body lying on a big stone near Bahadurpur Uppal canal. A post-mortem conducted on 21 April revealed that she had died because of Neurogenic Shock as a result of injuries to private part. The girl was viciously raped and it was evident they had been tortured prior to her death.
It had made the national news. The newspapers wrote : “The police today recovered the body of Diksha (7), who had gone missing along with her sister Asha (5) on Sunday, from a river near Khadoor Sahib. Diksha and Asha, daughters of a Rasta Mohalla resident, Gobind Ram, had gone missing from the local Nehru Garden.”
A police personnel said, “But this is the first time we have seen the sexual assaults and murder of little girl. That’s what makes it a unique and frightening case.” The police continued their search for evidence along Khadoor Sahib where Diksha’s body was found. (To be continued)/Copyright : Tarak Ghosh