An Indian girl, 10, survived by holding onto rocks and wires inside a deep well after a neighbour allegedly tried to rape the child before pushing her into the water hole.
The girl was cycling in her village of Dudhlai, in central Madhya Pradesh state’s Sehore district, late on Saturday when the 28-year-old neighbour lured her to an isolated place, police said.
During a sexual assault attempt, the accused pushed her into the 12-metre well and fled the spot after the girl raised the alarm.
Police said the girl clung onto a stone and wires inside the well, which contained 2.5 metres of water, before being rescued.
“The girl was traumatised but told us that the man lured her on the pretext of playing with him and watching birds," Superintendent of Sehore Police Mayank Awasthi told The National.
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"But she said he attempted to rape her and pushed her into the well.”
“The well is near the girl’s house. Her mother was frantically looking for her when she didn’t return home and found her in the well after hearing her cries,” the police official said.
The accused man was arrested in a nearby town as he tried to flee, and charged with sexual assault and child abuse.
“The child was briefly admitted to hospital and medical reports to confirm the sexual assault are awaited,” Mr Awasthi said.
India has among the highest numbers of child abuse and rape cases in the world.
In 2020, as many as 47,221 cases of sexual offences against children were reported of which nearly 2,700 were rape cases, figures compiled by the National Crime Records Bureau show.
Madhya Pradesh had about 5,700 cases of sexual offences against children.