Pathan Mohammad Rafi, a 25-year-old lorry cleaner, who raped and murdered a 5-year-old girl in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh has been awarded the death sentence. The Chittoor sessions district court on Monday awarded death by hanging for the accused.
On the night of November 7, 2019, the five-year-old had gone missing. The police were able to crack the case and nabbed the accused 10 days after the crime was reported at Mudivedu police station. The speedy investigation was aided by forensic lab reports that came within 30 days of the crime on December 7. The police filed a charge sheet on December 10, within 33 days and in 26 working days after the case was registered.
The five-year-old girl child along with the family members had gone to attend a function at the KNR marriage convention hall on November 7. She went missing the same night, her body was found dumped beyond the compound wall of the convention hall.
The accused, Mohammad Rafi was also present at the marriage hall. CCTV footage from the function hall showed the accused following the child while capturing her photograph on his mobile phone. The police chargesheet said that he then followed her to the ladies toilet and sexually assaulted the child and killed her. Rafi was also accused of throwing the body over the backside compound wall and exiting through the main gate.
Police established the identity of the accused as Pathan Mohammad Rafi, on November 12, five days after the case was registered. The police managed to identify him using CCTV footage from the function hall. A massive manhunt was launched by the police who even released sketches of the accused to the public. Based on tip-offs, the police managed to arrest the accused from his native village at Molakavaripalle near Angallu on November 16th, ten days after the case was registered.
The murder was not Rafiās first crime, he was arrested for a similar rape offence at Basnikonda when he was 15 years old. He had attempted sexual assault on a 5-year-old girl. He was sent to a juvenile home based on charges of sexual assault but was later released on bail. In 2017, while working at water plant at Angallu village, he was accused of molesting a 12-year-old girl however no case was registered, stated the Chittoor Superintendent of Police, S Senthil Kumar to Times of India