BJP worker, cop & a journalist jailed for pushing young teen into prostitution
Suspended Ennore police station officer C Pugalendhi, BJP functionary G Rajendran, and Vinobaji, a journalist working for a private media channel, were sentenced to 20 years in prison.
A special court in Tamil Nadu sentenced eight people to life in prison for sexually assaulting and compelling a teenage girl into prostitution, while a police officer, BJP functionary, and journalist were among 13 people convicted to 20 years in jail for their roles in the case.
The ruling was passed by a Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) court.
The victim's stepfather and stepmother were among those who were given a life sentence in jail. Suspended Ennore police station officer C Pugalendhi, BJP functionary G Rajendran, and Vinobaji, a journalist working for a private media channel, were sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Four of the 26 accused fled, and one died while the case was pending. The case was bifurcated, and the 21 remaining accused were prosecuted.
Following a complaint by the victim's mother, the case was registered by the All Women Police in Washermenpet against 26 people, and the chargesheet, which ran to more than 560 pages, was submitted in November, 2020.
The case was in the spotlight because the victim, who was only 13 years old at the time, was raped by more than 100 people and was pushed into prostitution by a police inspector, a politician and a journalist.
On September 15, the special court established to deal with complaints lodged under the POCSO Act convicted all 21 offenders in the case and pronounced the quantum of penalties on Monday.
Apart from the jail term, the court's presiding officer, M Rajalakshmi, directed the government to give the victim ₹5 lakh in compensation. The judge ordered that the fines levied on the 21 people, totalling roughly ₹2 lakh, be delivered to her as well.
(With agency inputs)