A 25-year-old youth was on Friday awarded a death sentence for raping and killing a six-year-old girl he had lured from a wedding hall in Gwalior town in the intervening night between June 20 and 21. The jail authorities did not bring Jitendra Kushwah to the Special Court fearing assault by advocates and others and the sentencing was conveyed to him via video conferencing. After his arrest on June 22, the chargesheet was submitted on July 2.
The trial lasted for 13 days in which 33 witnesses, including forensic science laboratory officials, victim’s parents, police, and school teachers, were examined. Jitendra was produced in the court only twice. Jitendra claimed he was innocent but later confessed to the crime.
Additional district public prosecutor Anil Mishra told The Indian Express that CCTV footage proved crucial for conviction because it showed the ice candy vendor going with the victim at 1.23 am and returning alone at 2.48 am. He said DNA reports were conclusive. The victim’s body was found around 9 am after a frantic search by relatives.
Special Judge Archana Singh handed down death sentence both under Section 376 AB and 302 of the IPC.