Police have chargesheeted the man accused of raping and murdering an eight-year-old girl in February this year under strict laws that provide for a minimum jail term of 20 years or even a life sentence.
The girl, a kindergarten student, was kidnapped on February 23. Her body was found near her house eight days later, in a decomposed state, infested with maggots.
Police sources have told HT that the accused, Tajinder Sharma, had earlier been booked for rape and murder, but that interrogation of the accused revealed that the victim had died of suffocation while being raped.
They said the accused confessed to covering the girl’s mouth while raping her to save her screams from being heard, and also strangulated the victim with her salwar (trouser) to make sure she was dead.
The investigating officer, Inspector Vijay Kumar, confirmed to HT that the charge sheet filed at a local court in Kharar included the Section 376A (committing an offence and in the course of such commission inflicting an injury which causes the death of the woman or causes the woman to be in a persistent vegetative state) of the Indian Penal Code.
Section 376A was one among many additions made to the Indian Penal Code in view of demands for stricter laws to curb sexual violence against women, after the December 2012 gang rape of a medical student on a moving bus in Delhi.
MISLED FAMILY, BUT FAILED
Besides 376A, the charges against the accused include Section 363 (kidnapping) and Sections 4, 5, 6 of the protection of children from sexual offences (POCSO) act.
Police said the accused has confessed that after abducting the girl, he took her to the top floor of his house and raped and killed her.
They said the accused told them that he took advantage of a power cut in the area and threw the body at a vacant plot on the night of February 26.
Police said that after committing the crime, the accused tried to mislead the victim’s family and joined them in their search for the missing girl.
But the bubble burst as the police found Tajinder Sharma’s shirt near the body and one of its buttons on the naked body itself. These items, police said, will serve as crucial evidences to get the accused convicted.
Sources have told HT that the police have also recorded the statement of a person claiming to be a witness to the accused taking the girl along with him the day she went missing.
Inspector Kumar said the viscera report of the girl is still awaited.