A fast-track court at Sambalpur in Odisha on Thursday awarded the death sentence to a 26-year-old youth for raping and killing a three-year-old girl in October last.

Additional District Judge Ashok Kumar Panda, terming the rape and murder of the girl “the rarest of rare cases,” handed down death penalty to Thidu Munda (26), a tractor driver, who was convicted last week.

The court also imposed a fine of Rs. 5,000 on him.

The incident took place at Budhiaplai under the Thelkuli police limits in Sambalpur district on October 4 when the girl’s parents, daily wage earners, were away. Panda was an acquaintance of the victim’s family.

After sexually assaulting the girl, Munda killed her and dumped the body in the forest.

The girl’s parents organised a frantic search with the help of villagers and the police, but it took three days to trace the body.

Police arrested Munda from the Jharsuguda railway station on October 13.