In a sensational verdict, the Warangal court on Thursday awarded the death penalty to an accused, after finding him guilty of raping a 9-month-old baby, which resulted in her death.
The speedy trial, which took less than two months, was possible because the Warangal police filed a chargesheet in the case by collecting all the necessary forensic evidence and producing witnesses, which proved that the accused, K Praveen, was guilty.
The investigating officer, Assistant Commissioner of Police Ch Sridhar, speaking to TNM said, â€śWe submitted Forensic Science Lab reports, 50 witnesses deposed before the court and corroborated the events. CCTV footage of the accused at the crime spot with the baby was also submitted along with test identification, which proved him guilty.â€ť
Congratulations to the Warangal police and advocates for making this happen https://t.co/RNjT0m5Tdnâ€” KTR (@KTRTRS) August 8, 2019
The speedy trial and verdict was hailed by advocates, many of who had refused to defend the accused. Terming the crime â€śinhumanâ€ť, â€śheinousâ€ť and â€śbarbaricâ€ť, the Warangal bar association had asked advocates not to take up defence of the accused.
However, a senior lawyer from the District Legal Services, Ravindranath, had represented the accused.
According to reports, the accused had pleaded guilty before the judge.
The advocates told media that there were nearly 60 witnesses in the case, and more than 30 of them were examined.
On June 19, Praveen, a resident of Hanamkonda in Warangal, abducted the girl while she was sleeping with her parents on their terrace. The girlâ€™s parents noticed her missing at 2.30 am. Soon the anxious parents and locals began searching for the girl.
Praveen took the baby to a secluded place, two colonies away, gagged and raped her.
The girlâ€™s uncle found Praveen with the girl. After seeing him, Praveen tried fleeing from the spot after dropping the girl on the road (this incident was caught on CCTV). However, he was caught by locals who roughed him up. The girl was taken to a nearby hospital; however, she succumbed.
Shortly afterwards, Praveen was handed over to the police. Police found Praveen to be in an inebriated condition.
Subsequently, police charged him under sections 376 (rape), 376 (ab) (rape of a woman below the age of 12), 366 (abduction of a woman), 302 (murder) and under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act 2012.
The incident had created widespread outrage, with the girlâ€™s parents and locals demanding that the accused be shot dead or hanged for the gruesome crime.