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‘Girl Child Education Hit By Sexual Assaults In Rural Areas’

| Updated: March 5, 2024 11:54

Special POCSO court was convicting a man to 20 years for raping a minor girl

The special POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act) court in Savli has observed sternly that sexual assaults on minor girls in villages affects female education and the nation’s progress.

The court made this observation while sentencing a man to 20 years of imprisonment for kidnapping and raping a 14-year-old girl.

Such incidents prevent parents from sending their daughters to study outside their villages. As a result, most girls study only till class 8 or 9 in their village schools, court stated. “Such incidents affect the education of many young girls who can’t contribute to their own and the country’s progress,” the judge observed while punishing Irfan Ghanchi, a resident of Savli, who was arrested in 2021.

The girl went missing in January 2021. Her mother filed a complaint. She alleged that  Ghanchi, a 22-year-old farm labourer, had been harassing her daughter for many months. When she confronted his family members, they threatened her. 

On Jan 21, 2021, the girl left for school but didn’t return till evening. Her mother went looking for her. The teacher at the school told her that she had not come to the school that day at all.  

The girl had to travel a few kms to reach her school. After the complaint was filed, the police found the girl some days later with Ghanchi. 

The girl insisted that Ghanchi forced her into a physical relationship despite her resistance. Ghanchi argued in the court that he and the girl used to talk often. He said they were in a relationship and he had not forced her in any way.   

The court observed that the girl’s education had suffered. If girls in rural areas lived in fear for their safety they would not be able to study properly, go on to graduate and work later in life. Such incidents had to be taken very seriously, the court observed.

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