The gangrape-murder of a tribal minor girl in Rajasthan, which left even the police shaken and led to an all-night search operation, has set a new precedent in the state with its judgement in which the POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Court sentenced the two accused to death.
The girl was gang-raped and murdered on December 23, 2021, in a jungle in Rajasthan’s Bundi district. The police had then cracked the case within 12 hours and had termed it a gruesome gangrape-cum-murder.
On Friday, while a special judge of a POCSO Court in Bundi awarded death sentences to Sultan (27) and Chhotulal (62), a third accused, a minor, was sent to the juvenile home. The court also instructed to carry out sentences within next 11 working days.
The gangrape murder case even shook the police
Bundi SP Jai Yadav told Outlook that they made out that more than one culprit was involved when they examined the body and brought in six station house officers along with forensic and dog squads to solve the crime without wasting time.
He said, “As soon as we received the phone call on December 23, 2021 that a body of a girl around 15-years-old has been found in the deep forest of Kalakuan in Bundi, I along with my team reached the site and saw a minor’s body full of bruises. She was dead but was bleeding profusely an6d was naked.
“Looking at her condition, we could make out that there was more than one culprit. Hence without wasting time, we took the support of police force (six SHOs), forensic and dog squads to solve the case and search the culprits.”
Yadav further said that initial clues were recovered around the body in the jungle. He added, “The first clue was her sandal which we recovered in the jungle. And the second clue was the red underwear which we found 500 meters away from the body.
“Later we started investigating and found that the minor girl had an acquaintance who was a juvenile boy who is the third accused in the case. The two other accused [Sultan and Chotulal] came to know about this and started blackmailing the boy. The duo started asking for sexual favours from the girl, and the boy in return helped them plan. When the girl resisted and started making noise, all three tried to strangulate her with the dupatta and she died."
The victim girl and accused boy were both tribals and lived close to the forest. The police had then charged the three accused with several sections of Indian Penal Code such as 376D (gangrape), 302 (Murder), 201 (destruction of evidence) and sections 5 and 6 of the POCSO Act.
It is the first case under the POCSO Act in Rajasthan wherein two culprits were simultaneously sentenced to death. On Friday, the special public prosecutor told the court that the case is the “rarest of rare” crime because the accused had gang-raped the girl, murdered her and then raped her body too.
The girl’s family has hailed the court's decision. Her uncle and aunt, with whom the girl had lived since her early childhood, told Outlook, “We have lost our daughter but we had full trust in the police and the judicial system. The law has taken its course."
According to the police, the minor's family lived on the periphery of the forest. The girl and her friends used to go out daily around 5 pm to take cattle for grazing and to get wood. But the girl’s relatives approached the police when she did not return on time on December 23 last year, the day she was found raped and killed.
Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot hailed the judgement
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Friday hailed the decision of the POCSO court.
Gehlot mentioned his government’s initiatives and track-record in crimes against women in a series of tweets.
He said, “The court has awarded the death penalty to two convicts in the gang-rape and murder of a minor girl in Bundi. The state government-appointed special prosecutor in this case and the police filed charge sheet of the case under the Case Officer Scheme within three working days.”
He further said in tweets in Hindi, “The government had launched several initiatives in the state to ensure women’s safety and security – Compulsory registration of FIR on every crime, setting up of a separate cell. It is because of these initiatives, justice to every survivor has been ensured in Rajasthan.”
“Since December 2018, after the Congress came in power in Rajasthan, eight accused under POCSO Act have been convicted to (death by) hanging. More than 620 people have been convicted and these include 137 that have been sentenced to life imprisonment.”
इन सभी नवाचारों के कारण आज प्रदेश में हर पीड़िता को न्याय सुनिश्चित हो पा रहा है। हमारी सरकार आने के बाद पॉक्सो एक्ट के मामलों में 8 दोषियों को फांसी, 137 से अधिक आजीवन कारावास समेत कुल 620 से अधिक दोषियों को सजा सुनाई जा चुकी है।— Ashok Gehlot (@ashokgehlot51) April 29, 2022
Atrocities against women rose by 17% in 2021 in Rajasthan
Atrocities against women increased by 17.03 per cent in 2021 as compared to 2020, according to data available on Rajasthan Police’s website. The Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party has left no chance to criticise the state’s Congress government over law and order situation and crimes against women.
Rajasthan has also featured at the top in rape and attempt to rape cases, as per data released by the National Crime Records Bureau for both 2019 and 2020.
Overall, the state saw an increase of 11.01 per cent in the registration of criminal cases in 2021 as compared to the year 2020, as per the data on state police’s website.