Following a major protest against slow pace of investigation, the Uttarakhand Police on Tuesday managed to arrest the main accused in the rape and murder case of a minor in Uttarkashi.

Mukesh Lal alias Bunty was arrested on charges of raping and murdering an 11-year-old girl. The incident took place in a remote village in Uttarkashi on Friday and the body of the girl was found near a culvert near the village.

The eldest sister of the minor victim provided vital tips to the police. She revealed that Bunty used to threaten her and constantly claim of abducting her.

Uttarakhand Police’s Deputy Inspector General (Garhwal range) Ajay Rautela said, “The accused has admitted to the crime. Mukesh was attracted towards the eldest sister and when the girl rejected his offer, he lost his temper and used to threaten her.”

The accused used to operate mule for a living. Bunty became friendly with the father of the victim and used to visit their home regularly. Even on the day of the incident, a drunken Bunty came to the girl’s house to kidnap her. He abducted the younger sister when he couldn’t find the elder as she had gone to her relative’s home.

After raping and strangulating the victim, Bunty dragged the body about 300 metres down the village. His aim was to throw the body in the stream near the village but later decided to abandon it.

Enraged villagers blocked the Uttarkashi-Gangotri highway and launched a protest against the slow investigation of the police.

Even the Uttarakhand High Court took a serious note of the incident and passed a judgment in Nainital on Tuesday asking the state government to institute a Special Investigation Team’s inquiry into the incident in 48 hours. The court also expressed its displeasure over the media disclosing the identity of the rape victim and her family.

The police had earlier claimed that some labourers were involved in the crime. The cops had initially arrested four persons from a minority group on suspicion. The police have now denied gang-rape charges terming it a media creation.