5 get life term for rape of German tourist

Chandigarh: A local court on Wednesday sentenced five young men, all hailing from Ambala district in Haryana, to life imprisonment for raping a 20-year-old German girl after abducting her from outside a five-star hotel last September.

The five youths, all in their 20s — Pankaj Punia, Manvir Singh Jolly, Harpreet Singh Dalli, Sukhwinder Singh Sukhi and Sompal — were convicted on Tuesday by Additional District and Sessions Judge Raj Shekhar Attri in a speedy trial that lasted just a week.

The judge announced the quantum of punishment after hearing arguments in camera from both the prosecution and defence for three hours.

Cogent evidence

The judge said: “On deep scrutiny of the evidence on record, this court is of the considered opinion that the prosecution evidence is cogent, reliable and without any blemish.”

He further said: “Rape is a serious crime whether it is of a foreign lady tourist or any other woman. It leaves a question mark on the safety of foreign tourists in the City Beautiful — Chandigarh.

“It is likely to create panic among tourists visiting Chandigarh and other parts of the country.”

‘Violated traditions’

The young men had completely violated the Indian traditions of hospitality, the court said.

The victim was “an unmarried young girl of 20 years and visited India only once. She had not taken good experience of her first visit.”

Scribes manhandled

Supporters of the convicts manhandled mediapersons outside the court damaging a camera of a photo journalist. The convicts also hurled abuses at the scribes. — PTI

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