A Jharkhand court convicted a man on Friday of raping a nine-year-old girl last year while inflicting grievous injuries to her colon and intestines in a case that transfixed the nation.
Special judge Satya Prakash Sinha will announce the punishment for Surendra Sardar on Saturday after it held him guilty based on testimonies from about a dozen prosecution witnesses and forensic evidence presented by police.
The court pulled up the state government for a sluggish probe in August after taking cognisance of an HT report that highlighted the plight of the victim’s father who, unable to afford a bicycle, walked four kilometres daily carrying his daughter in his arms to a health centre to dress her wounds.
The girl was later moved to state capital Ranchi’s Medanta Hospital for specialised treatment.
Surendra was identified and arrested by police when he broke into another house in the same village last year.
“The girl’s family cooperated fully with the probe team during the investigation,” said deputy superintendent of police BN Singh. “We also took special care in producing the witnesses in court regularly and get their statements recorded. Our effort to corroborate the charge with forensic evidence also proved crucial in convicting the perpetrator.”
The fatal gang rape of a student in Delhi in 2012 led to nationwide protests and tougher anti-rape laws but incidents of sexual abuse have not dwindled in India, experts say.