A fast-track court in Pune, dealing with cases under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, on Monday sentenced a 38-year-old labourer to death for kidnapping, raping and murdering a two-and-a-half-year old girl in Pune district in February 2021.
The girl was kidnapped from the premises of her home on February 15. Investigation revealed that she had been abducted by a man while she was playing in the front yard of her home.
The investigation team found out from a rickshaw driver that he had dropped a man and a child at a nearby spot. Police launched an extensive search in the area. A woman from the area further pointed the police to the direction where the man had taken the girl. The girl was found dead inside a cement pipe next to a bridge. Medical examination revealed that the girl had been raped.
Police had invoked various Indian Penal Code sections pertaining to murder, rape and destruction of evidence and also relevant sections of the POCSO Act. Within 48 hours of registration of the case and following an extensive probe based on technical analysis and ground-level police work, Pune Rural police arrested the accused, Sanjay Katkar (38), who had been hiding at a brick kiln in Raigad district after committing the crime.
Police probe revealed that Katkar worked at a brick kiln and had kidnapped the girl from the premises of her house while passing through the area. Public Prosecutor in the case, Vilas Pathare, said that during the trial in the fast-track court for POCSO cases in Pune, as many as 16 prosecution witnesses were examined, along with circumstantial evidence gathered by the investigation team, including DNA analysis.
The court, in its judgment pronounced on Monday, sentenced Katkar to death penalty under Section 6 of the POCSO Act.