A special POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Court here on Thursday awarded death sentence to the accused in the sensational rape and murder case of a six-year-old girl in Salepur in Cuttack district in 2018.
Weighing the aggravated and mitigating circumstances, Additional District Judge Bandana Kar categorised the case as a “rarest of rare” and awarded the capital sentence to convict Md Mustaq of Salepur under Sections 376 AB (rape of woman under 12 years of age) and 302 (murder) of IPC.
After examining as many as 23 prosecution witnesses and a single defence witness, the lower court observed that no leniency should be shown to the convict in view of the abject monstrosity of the crime. “He is to be hanged by the neck till his death”, said the court order.
Notably, the accused Mustaq had reportedly lured the girl with a chocolate and raped her in a school in the village on April 21, 2018.
Later, he tried to kill the girl by bludgeoning her head with a stone.
The victim succumbed to the injuries while undergoing treatment at the SCB Medical College Hospital in Cuttack on April 29, 2018.
Police arrested the accused soon after the incident and also filed charge-sheet against him in a record 19 days.
Family members of the girl, besides praising the police, welcomed the judgment and termed it as true justice.
It is to be noted that this death sentence is fourth such ruling in the State in last two months under the POCSO Amendment Act, which has the provision of capital punishment in rape cases involving minor girls under the age of 12 years.
The POSCO Courts in Angul, Mayurbhanj and Jagatsinghpur districts had recently awarded similar punishments to rapists.