Telangana man gets death penalty for rape, murder of baby in 48-day trial
A fast-track court in Telangana’s Warangal district on Thursday sentenced a 28-year-old man to death in a case of rape and murder of a nine-month-old infant in June this year.
Kolipaka Praveen, a resident of Kumarpally area of Hanamkonda town in Warangal urban district, had confessed before district additional judge Jaya Kumar that he had committed the crime in an inebriated condition.
The judge then pronounced the verdict. He, however, gave the convict a chance to appeal in the high court for commutation of the sentence.
The fast-track court completed the hearing in the case in just 48 days from the day of the incident, as no advocate in the district has come forward to represent Praveen or extend him any legal aid. The judge examined as many as 30 witnesses in the case.
The incident took place in the early hours of June 19 at Tailors’ Street in Hanamkonda. The baby girl was sleeping with her parents and grandparents on the terrace of their house when Praveen abducted her. He then took her to a secluded place, raped her and later, strangled her.
The parents raised an alarm after they noticed that the baby was missing. They, along with their neighbours, searched for her. One of their relatives found Praveen running away from the scene of offence, along with the baby.
When the relative ran after him, he threw away the baby and tried to flee. But the local people caught him and thrashed him before handing him over to the police. The baby was rushed to hospital where she was declared dead.
Warangal police slapped cases under Sections 366 (kidnapping), 302 (murder), 376-a (rape), 376-ab (rape of minor), 379 (theft) and section 5(m) of the Indian Penal Code, read with Section 6 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act.
Warangal police commissioner Dr V Ravinder said the speedy justice had brought a big relief to the investigating authorities. “The police took it as a challenge and filed a charge sheet within 21 days and urged the court to fast track the hearings,” he said.
After his arrest, the Warangal District Bar Association members had decided against arguing on behalf of the suspect. Lawyers also took out protest rallies. The Bar Council members on Thursday hailed the judgment.