A Fast Track court of Sangareddy on Thursday has handed down life-imprisonment sentence to three persons, including a 51-year-old man, in the sensational case of raping and killing a minor of an orphanage home three years ago.
The Second Additional District Judge-cum-POCSO Court (Fast Track) of Sangareddy, G. Sudarshan, held Naredla Venugopal Reddy, 51, who used to frequently visit the orphanage as a donor, guilty of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl of the Orphanage resulting in her death. Two others, Chilukuri Vijaya, 46, who was running the Home, and her brother Surapaneni Jayadeep, were convicted of the charge under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. Both the sister and the brother were punished with life imprisonment.
The heinous crime of repeated sexual assault on the minor came to light on July 31, 2020 when the Bowenpally police of Hyderabad issued the First Information Report against the accused. The minor, who was shifted to her relatives’ house as the Home in Miyapur was shut due to COVID-19 pandemic, fell sick and taken to doctor as she complained of bleeding.
The doctor told the girl’s guardians that the minor’s bleeding was due to repeated sexual assault. After being counselled, the minor narrated the horrendous sexual assault on her by Venugopal Reddy when she was in the Home. She told the guardians that the woman and her brother threatened her not to complain about the assault to anyone.
On point of jurisdiction, the case was transferred to Ameenpur police station of Sangareddy district. As the condition of the minor deteriorated, police shifted her to Niloufer hospital. While undergoing treatment, the 14-year-old died after 12 days. “As the girl died of the injuries sustained due to the sexual assault, Section 302 of murder under Indian Penal Code too was invoked against the accused,” DSP R. Satyanarayana Raju, one of the three investigating officers, recalled on Thursday.
Police initially got the girl’s statement video recorded at the Bharosa centre. They also recorded her statement while she was undergoing treatment at the hospital. According to the DSP, the prime accused Venugopal Reddy used to frequently visit the Orphanage in Miyapur on the pretext of donating cash and in kind.
He used to take the minor to an isolated room in the building, offer cool drink laced with some chemical and violate her, Mr. Raju said. Some of the inmates of the Home, who deposed evidence in the court later, confirmed the assault to the investigators. On learning about the sexual assault, members of the Child Welfare Committee met the victim, ascertained the facts and got the girl’s statement about the trauma she underwent recorded.