A Sambalpur court on Monday sentenced a man to death for the rape and murder of a minor girl. Pradip Dalei (28) was convicted of the crime a week ago.

Dalei lured an eight-year-old girl from the Tanlapada locality of Sambalpur on September 3 by promising to buy her food. After raping and murdering her, he dumped the body in a secluded park.

Local residents, who had seen the culprit taking the girl away, caught him and handed him over to the police. During interrogation, Dalei confessed to his crime and showed the place where he had thrown the body. Infuriated local residents had blocked roads demanding stringent punishment for the offender. Dalei had deserted his wife and two minor daughters a few months ago.

“The convict targeted the minor victim out of lust, then lured her out from lawful custody and committed the beastly rape,” Sambalpur District and Session Judge Bibhu Prasad Routray stated. “This is the rarest of rare cases deserving the punishment of death,” the judge pronounced in a packed courtroom at Sambalpur, about 350 km from here.

“The convict is a driver by profession. His prior conduct shows that he is cruel even to his own family. He took advantage of his familiarity with the locality,” the judge said. The judgment stated that the convict had not only betrayed the victim and her close relatives, but also the people of the locality and society at large.

Another minorfound dead

In another atrocious crime, a three-year-old girl, who was kidnapped by a young man, was found dead in a forest area in Sambalpur district on Sunday. On October 3, the man lured the little girl offering her food. Four days later, residents of the Budhiapali-Mundapada village discovered her body in the forest. According to preliminary reports of the police, the girl was raped and murdered. The offender is absconding.