Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Man gets death penalty for rape-murder of 8-year-old

Nitesh Kumar Sharma, TNN | Oct 2, 2013, 05.05 AM IST

JAIPUR: The district court in Rajsamand on Tuesday awarded death penalty to a man for raping and murdering an eight-year-old girl nine months ago.

Sessions judge Chandra Shekhar said the 24-year old convict, Manoj Pratap Singh, had committed the ghastly act of "brutally killing a helpless and mentally challenged" child after raping her.

"Manoj is a bolt on the society and the humanity at large. He deserved to be punished with the capital punishment," the judge said in a packed courtroom.

The prosecution presented 25 witnesses and 51 supporting documents including a DNA report during the trial which began after police filed chargesheet on February 4 this year.

After the capital punishment was announced, people busted fire crackers in Kankroli town where the incident took place and nearby Rajsamand town.

Manoj Pratap Singh was a vehicle-lifter and a petty criminal before he abducted the girl from the vegetable cart of her parents on January 17 this year. The girl was mentally challenged.

"Manoj, who belongs to UP, used to live in a rented accommodation near the girl's house in Kankroli. The girl's father is a vegetable vendor. Manoj used to buy vegetables from him," said public prosecutor Pradeep Kumar.

On January 17, the girl was with her parents and grandfather at the vegetable cart when Manoj walked to her and offered her chocolate. He tried to take away the girl, but the parents protested.

"He returned on a bike after 10 minutes and abducted the girl around 6.30 pm. The parents and some others tried to chase Manoj, but he disappeared," the lawyer said.

Manoj bought some beer bottles from a liquor shop on the way and took her to an isolated place in Dhondara area and raped her. He then repeatedly hit her head with a stone lying on the road and dumped her body into a pit in Kamal Talai area.

Meanwhile, the parents who knew Manoj informed the police. Several teams launched a search. He was found around 1 am on January 18.

"He had come to the bus stand to get a mobile recharge coupon and leave the town later. After interrogation, he led the police to place where he had dumped the girl's body," said the lawyer.

As no lawyer agreed to represent him, the court had to appoint a lawyer. "There were several evidences against Manoj. The semen swabs lifted from the girl's clothes and private parts matched with Manoj's DNA. Besides, his clothes having stains of girl's blood were also recovered. There were several eye-witnesses who saw him abducting the girl," said the lawyer.

While Manoj broke into tears after coming out of the courtroom on Tuesday, a crowd of nearly 150 people, mostly locals, clapped and congratulated each-other.

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