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Two months after Mandsaur rape, 2 accused awarded death sentence

Source: PTI
Last updated on: August 22, 2018 00:07 IST

Two months after an eight-year-old girl was raped in Madhya Pradesh's Madsaur, a special court on Tuesday awarded death sentence to two men for the crime saying they deserved no leniency.

The girl was abducted and later gangraped on June 26, an incident which had triggered widespread outrage and led to protests for several days with demands for capital punishment for the culprits.

In what could possibly be one of the speediest trials in such crimes, Additional District and Sessions Judge Nisha Gupta today convicted Irfan Mewati alias Bhaiyu (20) and Asif Mewati (24) and sentenced them to death, saying the case fell under the "rarest of the rare" category.

 

"The act of the two accused was of cruel and gruesome nature. The duo raped a hapless girl who was anxious to return home after her school was over," the judge was quoted as saying by assistant district prosecution officer Nitesh Krishnan.

The court noted that the convicts savagely attacked the minor girl and the victim could not defend herself as she was a minor.

"The accused not only raped her, but they attacked and injured her private parts and other delicate body parts with a knife," the special judge observed, the prosecutor said.

"So, they do not deserve leniency. Therefore, treating the incident as rarest of the rare case, as pleaded by the prosecution, death was only way out to punish them under section 376DB of the IPC," the judge remarked, Krishnan added.

The newly-introduced section deals with cases where femles under 12 years of age is raped by one or more persons.

The girl was abducted while she was waiting for her father outside her school in Mandsaur and was later gangraped.

The rapists had also tried to kill her by slitting her throat.

The girl had suffered severe injuries on her neck, face, head and private parts in the incident and is undergoing treatment in Indore.

Following the gruesome incident, local Muslims in Mandsaur district had taken out a rally, demanding the culprits be hanged.

The district remained on the boil for many days and protests were organised in several parts of western Madhya Pradesh, demanding capital punishment for the culprits.

Judge Gupta also awarded life imprisonment to the two under section 307 (attempt to murder), 10 years imprisonment with a fine of Rs 10,000 and seven years imprisonment and fine of Rs 10,000 under sections 366 (kidnapping to rape) and 363 (kidnapping) of the IPC, Deputy Director of Prosecution B S Thakur said.

After the pronouncement of the judgement, one of the convicts, Asif Mewati, was slapped by an unidentified man while he was being taken out of the court on Tuesday.

Earlier, Thakur and Krishnan pleaded with the court that the accused be given capital punishment taking into account the seriousness of the crime they have committed.

The defence pleaded for leniency, saying the convicts should not be hanged as they were in their 20s.

Countering the defence argument, the prosecution said the crime committed by the duo was so grave and cruel that the girl has still not overcome the trauma.

The prosecutors told the court the girl's throat was slit to kill her. In fact, the accused left the spot after being convinced that she was dead.

The duo inflicted such serious injuries to her that she regained consciousness after 18 hours, they told the court.

Thakur and Krishnan cited a Supreme Court ruling contending that only death would deliver justice in the case.

The Judge delivered the verdict after examining 37 witnesses, 195 documents and 50 articles connected to the crime.

The prosecution also placed on record the positive DNA report of the girl's blood stain on the vest and shirt of Irfan Mewati. It also submitted the DNA report of hair of the two convicts recovered from the crime spot.

With this, 14 rapists, most of them who committed the crime against girls below 12, have been awarded capital punishment in MP in the last six months.

Madhya Pradesh was the first state to enact a law in December last year providing for death penalty for rapists of minor girls below 12.

The Centre brought an amendment in the IPC to punish the rapists of minor girls below 12 with death on April 21.

Madhya Pradesh accounted for the highest 4,882 rape cases, out of the 38,947 recorded across the country in 2016, according to the National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB)'s last report.

The state recorded 2,479 rape cases of minor girls, followed by Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh with 2,310 and 2,115 such cases respectively, the NCRB report said.

Madhya Pradesh recorded the highest number of rape cases (4,391) in 2015 too, according to the report.

Rajendra Kumar, director of prosecution, in a press release, said both the public prosecutors in the case will be felicitated.

'Happy that justice is delivered'

The father of the Mandsaur gangrape victim expressed satisfaction over the special court's verdict.

He hoped that the verdict would send a strong message and act as a deterrent.

The man, a resident of Mandsaur, is currently staying in Indore, as the victim is undergoing treatment at a city hospital.

"My daughter and my family have been under stress since the past two months. Since the beginning, we wanted them to be hanged. Finally, justice has been delivered today," he said.

He said the verdict was delivered in time because the trial was conducted in a fast track court.

"The court judgement would send a strong message in the society and (hopefully) such crimes against minors would be reduced," he said.

The man, around 45 years of age, said his daughter underwent a surgery at the Maharaja Yeshwant Rao Hospital (MYH) in Indore for the second time recently and is doing well.

She was admitted in the MYH here, about 200 kms from Mandsaur, on the night of June 27, a day after the incident.

"Doctors told me that they would consider discharging my daughter from the hospital after her injuries get healed," he said.

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