A 26-year-old man was sentenced to life imprisonment by a fast-track court in Gandhinagar on Wednesday for the rape and murder of a three-year-old girl. The sentence came less than a month after the incident took place.
The man, a daily wage labourer from Gandhinagar, had allegedly raped three girls aged three, five and seven years between October 29 and November 5 in the villages bordering Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar. He had been targeting children of migrant workers living in shanties during the Diwali and Nootan Varsha festivals. He was arrested on November 7.
Additional district judge S.N. Solanki ruled for life imprisonment for the convict on Wednesday, following a 500-page charge-sheet from the police.
“The court has awarded life imprisonment to the convict for the rape and murder of a three-year-old girl. The man faces two more cases of raping children and five cases of looting. Over 140 police personnel, divided into three teams, worked to apprehend him. A team of 35-40 police officers worked on the investigation and filed the charge-sheet within eight days. A separate team of officials was formed to counsel the families of the victims. Gandhinagar police has also adopted one of the child survivors,” said Mayur Chavda, superintendent of police, Gandhinagar.
The convict had abducted a 5-year-old girl from outside her shanty during the Diwali festivities on November 4. After raping the child, he dropped her near a canal overbridge in Gandhinagar.
On November 5, during the Nootan Varsha festivities, a three-year-old girl went missing from her shanty in another Gandhinagar village. On November 7, a local crime branch team apprehended the man after going through CCTV footage of him abducting the 5-year-old girl. On interrogation, he confessed that he had dropped off the 5-year-old girl on the roadside, while he strangled the 3-year-old and dumped her body outside a village. The body of the child was recovered on November 7.
The man also confessed to have raped another seven-year-old girl. The convict had attacked sex workers in Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar and looted valuables from them, the police said.