New Delhi: A court in Uttar Pradesh’s Pratpagarh Wednesday awarded the death sentence to two men named Haleem alias Kharbar and Rizwan convicted for gang-raping and brutalising a minor. The judgment said “no punishment is enough for the kind of crime that has been committed”.
Comparing a woman’s body to a “temple”, in the judgment dated 2 November, the Additional District Sessions Judge of the POCSO Court Pankaj Kumar Srivastava said, “A woman’s body is like a temple and a woman alone can decide who can enter in it, nobody has the right to force her.”
These men did not just gang-rape her but also brutalised her body and threw her near a railway track thinking her to be dead, the court said noting it to be a “rarest of the rare case”.
According to the judgment, the rape convicts also inflicted injuries to her head, deforming her face and resulting in the minor rape survivor losing her left eyesight for life. They also injured her arms, legs, and thighs, fracturing her right knee, the 10-page order noted.
“This act shows mental bankruptcy and the kind of thinking they have towards women and to what extent they can go… It is beyond comprehension why these men were treating the minor like an animal because such cruelty is not committed even against animals (sic).”, judge Srivastava said in the judgment.
Women considered goddesses?
“It’s a strange irony that in a country like India which worships goddesses like Durga for shakti, Saraswati for knowledge and has [had] women holding the positions of President, Prime Minister, Chief Minister, and Governor, a minor has been gang-raped with such heinous cruelty, raises a question on the entire social structure,” the judge said.
The court said that “if we do not give the severest punishment to such men, then every parent will be scared for their life and live every moment in fear that they will be made the victim of such predators.”
“Whenever the survivor will look at herself in the mirror, she will feel sorry as to why was she (sic) born as a daughter in this world. People die once, the survivor will die thousands, million times,” he said
He, however, hoped that the survivor would try to forget her sorrow with time and lead a good life, and not attempt a “cowardly act” like suicide.
Rehabilitation of survivor
The court sentenced the rapists to 31-year rigorous imprisonment, barring the time spent in jail, along with a fine of Rs 50,000 each.
The court also directed Pratapgarh District Magistrate, to pay financial compensation to the survivor as per rules under the state’s Rani Laxmibai Mahila Samman Kosh scheme, and to inform it within one month from the date of the order whether financial compensation was paid to the victim.
It also ordered the men to pay a compensation of Rs 1 lakh under Section 357 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) for causing physical injury and mental trauma and for rehabilitation of the minor survivor.
A minor also accused
According to Joint Director of Prosecution Havaldar Singh, the girl’s brother had lodged a case against unknown persons in Nawabganj police station on 30 December 2021, that his sister had gone to the village shop on 27 December when the accused kidnapped her and took her to the nearby the railway track where they raped and brutalised her.
She was brought to the Community Health Center, Kalakankar in an unconscious state from where doctors referred her to SRN Medical College hospital in view of her critical condition.
After five days, the victim came to her senses and named three accused – Aman alias Qasim, Rizwan, and Haleem, among whom Aman was found to be a minor and his case was referred to a juvenile court which is currently underway.
(Edited by Theres Sudeep)