Life term to home guard for sexual assault

Tukaramgate police of Hyderabad secured conviction of life-imprisonment to a home guard, who was accused of sexually assaulting a minor tribal girl and held guilty of the charge, on Wednesday.

First Additional Metropolitan Sessions Judge of Nampally Kunchala Sunitha also handed down a sentence of 30 years of rigorous imprisonment to accused home guard Botla Mallikarjun, holding him guilty under the provisions of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. The convict was also sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment of two years for criminal intimidation. A total of ₹50,000 was imposed as fine on him.

Out of this, ₹40,000 should be paid to the victim towards compensation for her mental agony, the judge said. All the jail terms run concurrently. The life imprisonment was awarded under Prevention of Atrocities against Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Amendment Act-2015.

Judge Kunchala Sunitha also ruled that the 16-year-old victim should be paid a compensation of ₹7 lakh for the physical and mental trauma she had undergone due to the aggravated assault. She directed the Metropolitan Legal Services Authority secretary to ensure the compensation was paid to the victim at the earliest.

The 40-year-old accused from Alair used to live in a portion of his maternal grandmother’s house in Tukaramgate and work at Hyderabad Central Crime Station (CCS). During COVID-19 pandemic, his grandmother went to Alair in December. The victim and her parents, who used to sell broomsticks, were living in the rented portion.

“The accused entered the portion when the physically challenged girl was alone and violated her. He repeatedly the assaulted her,” Gopalapuram ACP P. Venkataramana, who investigated the case, said. Later, the girl’s family went to Siddipet. In February, they realised the girl was pregnant. On learning about the assault, they lodged a complaint.

The accused was arrested within 24 hours and remanded in judicial custody. At the parents’ request, the minor’s pregnancy got terminated. Investigators got DNA fingerprinting tests done on the foetus and blood samples of the accused. Based on the irrefutable scientific evidence and the statement of the victim recorded under section 164 of Criminal Procedure Code, the accused was held guilty.

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Printable version | Sep 24, 2022 3:51:25 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/life-term-to-home-guard-for-sexual-assault/article35706961.ece