A 16-year-old kid allegedly strangled his 9-year-old neighbour and lit her body on fire after she spotted him taking jewellery from her unit in a housing society here on Monday, according to authorities.

The victims’ and accused families live in two distinct towers of Signature Global Solera, Sector 107, Gurugram, and are on excellent terms, according to sources.

The mother of the girl, a fourth-grade student, was at the accused’s house when he allegedly committed the deed at 11 a.m. on Monday, according to police.

The accused, a class 10 student caught by police, initially claimed that two thieves had entered the residence and killed the girl before confessing to the murder, according to authorities.

He said that he was taking the jewellery to repay a Rs 20,000 loan, according to reports.

The accused told police that he did not intend to kill her, but because she refused to be quiet, he strangled her out of fear of being caught, according to a senior investigating officer.

Police claimed a FIR has been filed at Rajendra Park police station.

According to the police, on Monday morning, the victim’s father went to work, while his mother and brother went to the accused’s house, which was located in another tower in the same community.

When the accused saw the girl’s mother in his home, he left, claiming he was going out for tuition, but instead came to the victim’s home.

The accused informed police that he rang the doorbell, and the girl, who was alone in the house, opened it. He claimed to have sat on the sofa and asked her for water before assisting her with her schoolwork, according to a senior investigating officer.

When she went to the toilet, he allegedly located keys to the locker in the bed’s drawer and stole some jewellery, according to the IO.

This is when the girl emerged from the restroom and objected to seeing the jewellery. The youngster threw the jewellery from the balcony, but the girl continued to complain, which prompted him to beat her, according to the officer.

The officer stated that the youngster then reportedly strangled her. Following that, he allegedly set her body on fire using camphor from the family temple.

After some while, the girl’s mother rang the doorbell, but no one answered. Soon later, she noticed smoke coming from the flat and raised the alarm, prompting other occupants to assemble at the scene, the officer explained.

Later, they entered the flat from the balcony and discovered the girl dead and half-burned, with the boy sitting in a corner, police said.

According to police, the child tried to deceive them by reporting that two burglars entered the residence and severely battered him. He was then arrested and later confessed to the crime, according to authorities.

“The accused claims that he had to repay a loan of Rs 20,000, so he committed the theft,” stated a senior investigating officer.

“An FIR was filed, and the accused boy was apprehended.” “We’re questioning him further,” stated Karan Goel, DCP (west). Police are also questioning some of the boy’s friends, he says.