Bihar: Mohania gangrape accused sentenced to 35 years rigorous imprisonment

A special Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses (POCSO) court in Bihar’s Bhabua has sentenced both the accused in the 2019 Mohania gang rape case to 35 years of rigorous imprisonment.

The victim's lawyer and parents said they respected the court's verdict but added that the heinous crime deserves death penalty.  (Representational Image)
The victim’s lawyer and parents said they respected the court’s verdict but added that the heinous crime deserves death penalty. (Representational Image)

Additional District and Sessions Judge (ADJ) of the special court Ashutosh Kumar Upadhyay also slapped 3.30 lakh fine on each of the accused and six months’ additional imprisonment in default of payment.

The court ordered the accused to pay the total fine 6.60 lakh to the victim and directed the District Legal Services Authority (DLSA) to pay adequate compensation to her.

The incident of gang rape of a minor girl in Mohania town had triggered communal tension resulting in assault and arson for three days in the third week of November 2019. Two people were injured in police firing on the aggressive crowd and many were injured in the lathicharge. To destroy the houses of the accused.

Victim’s lawyer Mantu Pandey said the 15-year-old schoolgirl was abducted by four youths in a car near Mundeshwari Gate in Mohania when she was returning home after buying a “practical copy” at around 1 pm on November 15, 2019 .

The accused took her to a deserted place on the banks of Durgavati river near Ratwar village and gang-raped her by stabbing her on the face at the point of a knife. They also made a video clip of the rape and released the girl after threatening to kill her entire family and made the video viral if she informed the parents or the police.

After the video clip by the accused went viral on social media platforms on November 24, angry locals thronged the streets and attacked shops and houses.

A case under section 376 (D), 366, 506, 504 was registered against the accused Mohammad Shahnawaz alias Sonu, Sikandar Ansari, Arbaz Alam alias Pallu and Mohammad Kalamu alias Sonu, residents of Mohania town, at Mahila Thana Bhabhua. . Sections 342, 341 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), Sections 67A and 67B of the Information Technology (IT) Act and Sections 6, 12(2) and 14 of the POCSO Act.

Next day the statement of the victim was also recorded under section 164 CrPC.

The police arrested the accused within three days and the charge sheet was presented in the court within seven days on 30 November. The trial started but for one and a half year no lawyer could agree to represent the accused.

Both the accused are facing separate trials as one was a minor at the time of the crime.

Sixteen witnesses were examined by the prosecution and two by the defence. The court found both the accused guilty of the offense on February 24 and fixed March 4 for the verdict.

The court did not award punishment to the accused under the POCSO Act as the prosecution failed to prove that the survivor was a minor.

The victim’s lawyer and parents said they respected the court’s verdict, but said the heinous crime deserved the death penalty, for which they would approach the Patna High Court and the Supreme Court.

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