Kochi |A minor girl was allegedly abducted, sexually assaulted and abandoned in a paddy field in the Aluva area of central Kerala on Thursday and the victim underwent surgery for the injuries suffered in the brutal incident, police said.
The police said that the man suspected of having abducted and sexually assaulted the minor girl was identified by the victim and a manhunt for him is on.
A senior police officer of the district told reporters that according to the initial investigation the suspect hails from Kerala and is not from outside the state.
"However, only after his arrest can we confirm which part of Kerala he belongs to. We have got leads and are following up with that. The search is ongoing," the officer said.
The victim was admitted to the Government Medical College Hospital, Kalamassery, police said.
The victim's health condition is stable now, it said.
"She has some injuries in her private parts. Now she is undergoing surgery for that. The suspect has been identified by the victim," he said and added the man would be arrested "as soon as possible".
Meanwhile, a local resident told a TV channel that he saw the suspect walking along with the girl near his house at around 2.15 am.
"I woke up to go to the toilet and as it was raining, I looked outside to see how heavy it was. That is when I saw the man and the girl walking by," he said.
The eyewitness, however, said he was not able to identify the suspect from the CCTV visuals shown by the police, but can do so if he saw the man in person.
The police also released the visuals to the media.
The police said that the incident was reported around 2 am when a local resident saw the suspect with the girl.
By the time the police arrived, local residents had taken the girl to the hospital, it said.
The child, reportedly the daughter of migrant workers, was traced from the paddy field by neighbours who reached the spot after hearing her cries.
The shocking incident was reported a month after a five-year old girl was abducted, raped and killed by a migrant labour in Aluva.
The body of the girl, the daughter of migrant labourers, was found abandoned in a marshy area behind the Aluva fish market, near the Periyar River in July last week.
Police had arrested a person from Bihar- Asafak Alam, 28-, who has confessed to the crime