The Coimbatore district POCSO court will pronounce the verdict in the rape and murder of a seven year old girl in Pannimadai, Coimbatore, on December 27. The incident, which happened in March, had caused scores of people to hit the road in protest, demanding immediate arrest of the accused.
According to advocate Sankaranarayanan, the public prosecutor in the case, the arguments in the case closed on December 19. “We examined 26 witnesses and the defence side examined eight witnesses. We are 100% confident of securing a conviction in the case,” he told TNM. Adding that since the victim is not alive, the case had to be built based on circumstantial evidence, he explained, “I have 56 years of experience as a prosecutor. The case was difficult because there was no eyewitness and the victim is dead. But we have argued very strongly and built a watertight case based on circumstantial evidence.”
On March 25, a seven-year-old girl went missing from her house in Pannimadai and later on the same day, the girl’s mother filed a missing person's complaint. The next day, the police discovered the mutilated body of the girl in an alley near the complainant’s house and autopsy confirmed that she was raped before being smothered to death.
Almost a week later, the police arrested 34-year-old Santosh Kumar in connection with the rape and murder. According to the police, the victim was playing in front of Santosh Kumar’s house on the day of the incident. As the victim fell down while playing, Santosh Kumar, took her inside his house on the pretext of helping her and sexually assaulted her. Police also said that Santosh allegedly confessed to having raped the child twice before smothering her to death.
Since Santosh’s grandmother had passed away that same evening, it became convenient for him to hide the girl’s body and dispose it off in the wee hours the next day, hiding it in his t-shirt.
The cold-blooded murder of a seven-year-old child by her neighbour caused an uproar in the city as people hit the streets to protest and demand the immediate arrest of the accused in the case.
The police arrested Santosh on March 31 and registered an FIR against him under sections 376A (causing death of rape victim) of the IPC in addition to 5(l) (Whoever commits penetrative sexual assault on the child more than once or repeatedly), 5(m) (Whoever commits penetrative sexual assault on a child below twelve years) and 6 (Punishment for aggravated penetrative sexual assault) of the POCSO Act.”