UP: Four convicted in minor sisters’ gang rape, murder case in Lakhimpur Kheri
Special public prosecutor Brijesh Pandey informed that the designated court for cases related to the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) had fixed August 14 as the date for the pronouncement of the sentence
A special Pocso (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) court in Uttar Pradesh’s Lakhimpur Kheri on Friday convicted four of the six accused in the case related to the murder and gangrape of two minor Dalit sisters.
The sisters, aged 15 and 17 years, were abducted from their house in September last year. They were gang-raped and killed in a village under Nighasan police station limits on September 14, 2022.
Following the incident, a special investigation team (SIT) was formed headed by a deputy superintendent of police and a case of murder, rape, SC/ST Act and others was registered. In an overnight operation, Kheri police nabbed six accused.
Special public prosecutor Brijesh Pandey informed that the designated court for cases related to the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) had fixed August 14 as the date for the pronouncement of the sentence.
He said that judgement on the role of one minor accused, who is above 16 years of age, will be pronounced later by the court.
Besides, the trial of the sixth accused, who is below 16 years of age, is being held separately before the Juvenile Justice Board, he added.
Pandey said the court convicted two accused – Junaid and Sunil alias Chhotu under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 363 (kidnapping of minors), 376-D (gangrape of woman under 16 years of age), 302 (murder), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 452 (house trespass after preparation for hurt), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence related to crime) and Section 34 for committing crime with common intention. They were also held guilty under Section 5G/6 of the Pocso Act (penetrative gang rape with a child and aggravated penetrative sexual assault).
However, the other two accused – Karimuddun and Arif were convicted under IPC Section 201 (causing disappearance of evidence related to the crime). All four were held guilty by the additional district judge Rahul Singh, special Pocso court, Pandey said.
The two sisters were strangled to death after a gangrape in a village under Nigashan Kotwali police station limits on September 14, 2022. Their bodies were found hanging from a tree in a sugarcane field, nearly one kilometre from their house.
The police had arrested six people, including Sunil alias Chhotu, who was identified by the girls’ mother in her complaint to the police. She mentioned in the first information report that Sunil, along with three other unidentified people, had committed the crime.
The police later found the involvement of Junaid, Asif and Karimuddin and two minors in the crime.
Chief minister Yogi Adityanath condemned the incident and expressed grief. He also announced ex-gratia of ₹25 lakh and a pucca house for the aggrieved family besides assuring a fast-track trial in the case. The investigation was completed within 15 days and the chargesheet was filed on September 28, 2022.