The sessions court here on Thursday held a person guilty of killing his daughter, but acquitted him of rape charge due to benefit of doubt. The quantum of punishment will be pronounced on Friday.
Dhanna Ram, a labourer, had killed her two-year-old daughter by smashing her head with a metal pan (used for baking chappatis) and injuring her with a knife.
The incident took place at Indira Colony, Sector 17, Panchkula. On November 15, 2011, between 2am and 2.30 am, according to accused Dhanna Ram's statement to the police, he woke up while his daughter was sleeping on his side and his one-year-old son Vishnu was sleeping with his wife Rita Devi. He started strangulating her daughter. In the meantime, his wife woke up and tried to stop him. He told her that the girl was a witch and would finish off their son.
He then picked up a metal pan and smashed his daughter's head with it many times. Not satisfied with it, he picked up a knife and attacked her.
Rita then started shouting and neighbours gathered. On seeing them, Dhanna Ram fled the spot. Their daughter died on the spot.
By the evening, then SHO of the Sector 14 police station inspector Aman Kumar arrested him near Bhudanpur check post in Panchkula.
Dhanna Ram confessed to the crime before the police. He also confessed to raping her daughter by closing her mouth but later retracted from it during the trial.
On February 11, 2012, the court framed charges under section 302 (for murder) and section 376F (for raping girl less than 12 years).
“The rape charge was a big blot on him. We have been reiterating throughout the trial that only the murder took place that too in the condition of unsound mind. Dhanna Ram needs treatment and not punishment. We will go for an appeal in this case,” said Manbir Singh Rathi, counsel for Dhanna Ram.
Dhanna Ram and Rita Devi got married 11 years ago and were blessed with four children. Their two children Simran and Ankush died due to illness. The couple hails from Pratapgarh in Uttar Pradesh.