She was all but seven — a sprightly, bubbly child who had gone down to play near her apartment in Chennai — little did she know what life had in store.

What happened next will send shivers down our spines. She was kidnapped, raped and molested by a predator on the prowl. The accused, in a bid to stop the child from screaming, stuffed a piece of cloth in her mouth.

When he realised the child had turned stiff, set the lifeless body on fire and later packed the charred body in a travel bag and dumped it along the highway.

The incident happened in February. Now, eight months down the line, in a cruel twist of fate, the man accused of sexually assaulting the child has been granted bail after Madras High Court set aside his detention under the Goondas act.

The child’s distraught parents today are crying out loud. Failed by the system, they are seeking justice. Their child is dead & gone, but the fight is on for other children.