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A 47-YEAR old man was sentenced to life imprisonment by a special court Thursday for sexually abusing his daughter. During her deposition before the court, the victim, who was 17 at the time, told court that her father began touching her inappropriately when she was in class six. She had said in her statement that at that time, her mother was bed-ridden since she was suffering from tuberculosis. She added that when she was in Class IX, her mother passed away. After that, her father would come home in a drunken state and sexually abuse her.
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The victim’s father had warned her against speaking about the abuse to anyone by threatening to kill her younger brother. The incident came to light when her father was beating her younger brother one night after returning home in a drunken state. She panicked and dialled the police control room. At the police station, she told the police about the sexual abuse.
However, when she was deposing, the victim denied making any statement against her father. On being cross-examined by the state prosecutor of the special court, the victim confessed that she denied the abuse initially since she wanted to save her father. She told the court that her siblings were studying in school but since there was no earning member in her family, she did not wish her father to be sent to jail.
The court relied on the girl’s earlier statement as well as other witness statements, including the probation officer of the children’s home in Dongri and a neighbour who had helped the girl approach police, in convicting her father under relevant sections of the POCSO Act.