POCSO court in U.P. hands death sentence for rape and killing of minor

Judgment comes 140 days after the crime was committed in a village in Bulandshahr district

A special Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO), 2012 court in Bulandshahr in western Uttar Pradesh on Thursday handed a death sentence to a man found guilty of raping and killing a minor Dalit girl. The judgment came 140 days after the crime was committed in a village in the Anoopshahr area of the district.

A penalty of ₹1.20 lakh was also imposed on the convict Harendra, who was found guilty under Sections 302, 376 and 201 of the IPC, and 5m/6 of the POCSO Act, said Additional District Government Counsel Sushil Kumar Sharma.

The incident that sent shock waves in the region took place on February 25 when the eight-year-old victim went to the field with her mother and sister to cut grass. After having food, she went in search of water but didn’t return. An FIR was registered on February 28 on the family’s insistence.

“Police found the victim’s body in the courtyard of Harendra’s house. He was arrested on March 3 in Shimla,” said Mr. Sharma. “The accused, he said, admitted that he had raped the girl after getting drunk, and out of fear of getting caught, smothered her and buried the body in the courtyard, next to the toilet.”

Mr. Sharma said the court found the crime to be heinous and one that shames humanity as the girl had knocked at the convict’s door for water.

The father of the victim expressed satisfaction with the verdict. “The brother of Harendra exercised pressure on us to take back the case. He also offered three bighas of land but I refused. I want him to meet a painful end as well,” said the father, who works as farm labour.

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