The Indore district court on Saturday awarded death penalty to a 26-year-old man for rape and murder of a three-month-old girl, while likening him to “gangrene”. The verdict came within 22 days of the incident. Additional Sessions Judge Varsha Sharma sentenced Naveen Gadke, the accused, to death under IPC section 376 (A) (death due to injuries during rape) which was introduced under the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013, and section 302 (murder). He was also found guilty under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
In the 51-page verdict, Judge Sharma said, “Given the heinous and gruesome manner in which the cruel act was done by the accused, this person is like a gangrene disease in the society. Like the doctor cuts off gangrene-affected parts of a patient’s body through operation, in the same way it is also necessary to keep such criminal away to protect the society from them. Such person is deadly for the society.”
District prosecution officer Akram Sheikh said the special investigation team formed by the police completed the investigation within seven days of the incident and filed a charge sheet on April 27. The charges were framed on April 28 and the case was heard on a daily basis from May 1, he said. Prosecution examined 29 witnesses, including the accused’s estranged wife. Gadke was distantly related to the victim’s parents, who sold balloons and slept outside the historical Rajwada building here, Sheikh said.
According to the police, Gadke’s wife had left him, and he went to the victim’s mother on the night of April 19, asking her to intervene in the marital dispute. As he started arguing, he was driven away. He abducted the girl from the spot while her parents were asleep in the wee hours of April 20, the police said. CCTV footage of the area revealed his actions. “After abducting her, he carried the sleeping girl on his shoulder so that passers-by could not suspect him. He took her to the basement of a commercial building 50 metres away from where her family was sleeping and raped her,” said a police official. After raping her, Gadke banged the girl’s head on the ground and killed her, he said. The child’s body was found on the afternoon of April 20 and soon Gadke was arrested.
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