Botad special Pocso court judge DG Rana sentenced a 39-year-old man to life imprisonment for the remainder of his natural life for the rape and murder of a 9-year-old girl in Botad town of Gujarat.
The girl was gagged with polythene, raped and strangled by the accused Raju Chauhan on January 15 this year.
Directing the state government to pay compensation of Rs 10 lakh to the family of the victim, judge Rana said, crimes like rape and sexual assault (on women) were symptoms of a disease in the society and for it to be without crime, every individual needed to stop treating women like a “property and means of sensual pleasure”.
He also imposed Rs 20,000 fine on the accused.
“Actually, hidden behind rape and sexual assault is the idea that the women are property. In the act of rape or sexual assault a woman is treated as an object to be possessed, a medium through which the men exert their masculinity, their superiority and their dominance,” Rana stated in his order.
If we want society crime-free and the state a welfare state we as society should think to change the mindset of looking women as property and means of sensual pleasure. We should adore and respect women as individual to practice high moral values,” the judge stated.
The court order said, “The atrocity committed by the accused in this case on the little girl is the visible part of an iceberg of which a huge part is drowned underwater and not visible with bare eyes. Such seemingly isolated crimes are not exceptional. It may be possible that many such crimes against children go unreported,” the order read.
According to case details, Chauhan had lured the minor girl with kites on January 15, the day after the kite festival Uttarayan. He took her to a dilapidated house near her house and raped her. When found, the girl was unconscious and half naked. She died before reaching the hospital.
Special public prosecutor in the case UR Dave said the autopsy report mentioned that the girl was gagged and then strangled by the accused after rape. The court convicted Chauhan on November 22 and announced the quantum of punishment the next day.
“It’s shameful that a heinous sexual crime is committed with a little nine-year-old girl. A naive girl child who has not yet set foot in the world becomes the prey of a lust hungry grown man and lost her life,” the court observed.
According to Dave, they examined 13 witnesses and produced 64 pieces of evidence during the 10-month-long trial.
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