In one of the fastest rape trials in Madhya Pradesh, a 40-year-old man was convicted of raping a nine-year-old at a temple in Rehli, in Sagar district of the state, on May 21 and awarded death penalty by an additional district judge (ADJ) on Saturday.
Bhaggi, alias Bhagirath, alias Narayan Patel, was arrested on May 22 and booked under IPC Sections 376(AB) and 366, and Sections 3, 4 and 5 of POCSO Act. The police had filed the chargesheet within 72 hours of the crime in the court of ADJ, Rehli.
After examining 25 witnesses and relying on the opinion of a senior medical officer and DNA report, ADJ Sudhanshu Saxena sentenced Patel to death.
This is one of the quickest conviction and sentencing after the Central government passed an ordinance in the wake of the rape and murder of a child in Kathua, near Jammu. to amend the POCSO Act and grant death penalty to those convicted of raping girls below 12 years.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who was speaking at an event in the region, spoke about the verdict during his address.
Calling the quick conviction historic, Home Minister Bhupendra Singh said that stringent punishment in the case will be a lesson for other “demons” who commit such crime.
On the evening of May 21, the victim was on her way to a relative’s home when Narayan Patel lured her to the temple in a field close to her home and raped her. After she raised an alarm, Patel fled but the victim’s relatives saw him running away.
According to investigating officer Ramavatar Chourasia, Patel had offered the victim namkeen to lure her to the temple. He said the girl was immediately provided treatment and her condition has improved — she had difficulty walking in the initial few days but she is now back on her feet.
Public prosecutor Purushottam Rawat told The Indian Express that the convict’s brother claimed he was mentally unstable and produced a certificate that was 17 years old. The brother could not produce any recent document to support his claim, and the court rejected the old certificate.