The man, a relative of the 7-year-old victim, was convicted of raping and murdering the minor and then disposing of her body in a drain on the outskirts of a village.

A representative image of a child and a man
news Court Wednesday, January 25, 2023 - 17:40

A special POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act court in Prakasam district’s Ongole has sentenced a man to death in a rape and murder of a 7-year-old girl. The convict, D Sidhaiah, a close relative of the girl, was convicted of luring the victim and raping her. He then murdered the victim before disposing of her body in a drain. The Prakasam police have managed to get the man convicted in 18 months.

Before pronouncing the judgement, the special court judge asked Sidhaiah if he had anything to say to which he only replied, “I have a daughter.” The court showed no leniency and convicted Sidhaiah and sentenced him to the death penalty for the heinous crime. Sidhaiah’s wife had left him and taken their daughter with her around a year before the incident took place. The court also awarded a compensation of Rs 10 lakh to the victim’s family. The father of the victim worked as an auto driver. The family of the victim was not present in court when the judgement was delivered.

The incident was reported on July 8, 2021. The minor girl was playing in the afternoon in front of her house with her friends when Sidhaiah lured her with chocolates, took her to his house and sexually assaulted her. The girl died as a result of injuries sustained to her head when Sidhaiah physically assaulted her to stop her from screaming for help. Fearing arrest, he covered the girl’s body in a plastic cover and disposed of it into an underground drain on the outskirts of the village, and then fled.

When the victim didn’t return home until late evening, the parents who went in search of her filed a complaint with the police. A case was registered immediately, and the cops began an investigation. A dog squad was called in which led the police team to Sidhaiah’s house. The police found that Sidhaiah was missing and the victim’s sandals, her bicycle, and a blood-stained blanket were found. The case was handed over to the Disha police for a speedy investigation. Within the next 48 hours, the accused Sidhaiah was arrested. He confessed to the crime and revealed the location of the girl’s body. A case under the POCSO Act and other relevant sections was booked against him by the Prakasam police. The police collected crucial evidence and a DNA test to confirm that Sidhaiah was the one behind the brutal rape and murder to ensure a water-tight case.    

Speaking to TNM, Malika Garg, Prakasam SP said, “Painstaking investigation by the team and an unrelenting presentation of evidence in the court has led to the conviction and the death sentence. Justice has been delivered within 18 months of the commission of the diabolic crime.”

She also said that the police had identified cases which would be tried on a priority basis. “Recently, we got a conviction in two murder cases. Ultimately, conviction is the end goal of a justice system. When justice is delivered in a speedy manner, it sends across a loud message in the society and acts as a deterrent to the perpetrators,” added the SP.

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