A special court in Sabarkantha district is likely to pronounce its verdict on February 27 in the case of rape of an infant, which triggered attacks on Hindi-speaking migrants in the state last year.
The POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act) court on Thursday concluded the trial against a 20-year-old migrant labourer from Bihar who has been accused of raping a 14-month-old girl in October last year.
Police had filed the chargesheet on November 3, and the court had framed the charges against the accused on November 28. Special Public Prosecutor R N Pandya said that he was confident of the accused being convicted by the court. “There is enough evidence to prove that the accused is guilty. There is medical evidence that shows the victim was raped. Besides, in a POCSO case, the burden to prove innocence lies on the accused which he has not been able to do,” said Pandya.
Advocate Y N Raval, who was appointed by the court as defence lawyer after local lawyers refused to take up the defence of the accused, said that his client had been “framed for ulterior motives”.
“The case put up by the prosecution is not believable. The panch witnesses are all known to the victim and her families. They would always favour the case. I have argued that the circumstantial evidence doesn’t lead to the conclusion that my client did what he has been accused of… Moreover, the accused (suffers from) erectile dysfunction. It came on record during the trial. I have argued that he has been framed for some ulterior motive,” said Raval, adding that he defended the accused “on the ground of humanity”.
“I had also (refused) to defend him twice. But due to the court’s request I accepted it to extend him legal help,” he said. Less than a week after the rape incident was reported, attacks on migrant workers from UP and Bihar began in different parts of Gujarat, resulting in a mass exodus of migrants.
Most of the violence was reported from Mehsana, Sabarkantha, Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad. Over 70 FIRs were lodged in this regard.