A court in Odisha has sentenced six people to 10 years in prison for kidnapping and raping a Dalit woman in Bargarh district nearly six years ago, a lawyer said on Thursday.
Additional District and Session Judge at Padampur, Sayed Abdul Kadar Zahir Ahmed, on Wednesday also fined them Rs 20,000 each and said the convicts would have to undergo additional two-year jail term in case they fail to pay the amount, special public prosecutor Bhishmadev Saraf told IANS.
The 24-year-old victim was raped at Paikmal village, about 350 km from Bhubaneswar, on May 10, 2009.
The incident had created a political storm as the main accused, Mahesh Agarwal, was a leader of the state's Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and was the chief of the local block.
Another accused Kunal Singh Beriha is a nephew of former state minister and senior BJD leader Bijaya Ranjan Singh Beriha.
According to the police, the woman had gone to the block office to enquire about a government job. Agarwal and his associates promised to help her and took her to a godown, where they allegedly raped her.
She was rescued by the police who reached there following a tip-off. The woman's medical examination had confirmed rape. The BJD had suspended Agarwal from the party after the incident.
The crime branch of the state police which investigated the crime later arrested all the six accused.
Pronouncing all the six persons guilty, the judge handed down the sentence to Agrawal, and his associates Sajjan Agrawal, Kunal Singh Beriha, Pintu Pradhan, Kamalesh Srivastav and Gunanidhi Bag, the lawyer said.