Sambalpur minor gang rape: Five awarded life term

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Sambalpur: A special POCSO court here on Saturday awarded life imprisonment to five convicts in the sensational gang rape of a minor girl in Sambalpur district last month.

The judgment came exactly a month after the horrific gang rape of a 15-year-old girl in Sasana area in the district. The girl was gang raped by six persons including a minor boy on May 2.

Announcing the verdict, Judge of the Special POCSO Court Uday Bhanu Jena pronounced life imprisonment under section 376 (ba) of the IPC and section 4 and 5 under POCSO Act, and imposed fine of Rs 50,000 on each of the convicts.

The five accused to serve life imprisonment are — Afzal Raja alias Kartik, Tinu Sahu, Hadu Panchabiha alias Kaira, Asirbad Behera and Abhilash Panchabiha.

According to sources, the incident took place on May 2 evening when the class IX minor girl was on her way back home. A class X boy of her school, one of the convict Afzal, stopped her on the pretext of conversation and then raped the victim dragging her to a nearby school verandah and fled the spot.

In the meanwhile, two local youths passing through the area saw the boy having physical relation with the girl and threatened her to disclose the incident in the locality. Later, the duo forcibly took the girl in their bike and raped her in a secluded place. The ordeal to the victim did not end here. Later, three friends of these two youths arrived at the place and also raped her one after on taking turns after taking her to Sasan canal.

District police took the case as a matter of urgency and arrested the six accused directing a DSP level probe into the incident. Charge-sheet was submitted within 15 days of the incident.

However on May 23, the girl had allegedly committed suicide by hanging herself in her house.

Meanwhile, counsel of the accused said he will move the Orissa High Court challenging the order of the lower court.

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