In one of the quickest judicial verdicts, a special court in Bihar convicted three persons to life imprisonment for raping a 25-year-old
Japanese tourist near Bodh Gaya in 26 days after the trial began. The trial started four days after a first information report was registered.
Other speedy convictions for rape include one in Rajasthan in 2005, when a court handed out life sentences to two men for abducting and raping a 47-year-old German tourist 16 days after it started hearing the case.
In 2006, another Rajasthan court sentenced the son of a police officer to life imprisonment for raping a 26-year-old German student, within 22 days of hearing.
In Monday’s conviction, three of the accused — Pappu Kumar, Uday Kumar and Anuj Kumar — were given life terms while two others are absconding.
“Their acts have immensely maligned the image of Bodh Gaya, the land of Buddha, which is a tourist hub of international repute,” district and sessions judge Jayant Kumar Sen said in his verdict.
The trial began on April 22, a day after the chargesheet against the accused was filed.
The chargesheet accused the five of pulling the victim out of an auto-rickshaw and raping her on April 16. She was travelling from Bodh Gaya to Gaya railway station to board a Howrah-bound train.
The accused also robbed the victim’s passport, 2,300 Japanese Yen, Rs 2,500, a cell phone and two credit cards, the chargesheet said.
The victim approached the Government Railway Police at Gaya junction and an FIR was lodged with the Bodh Gaya police station on April 17.
Shocked over the incident, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had announced that a speedy trial would be carried out.