Panchkula man gets five years rigorous imprisonment for sexual assault on minor
“Childhood should be carefree, playing in the sun; not living a nightmare in the darkness of the soul.” Quoting from a memoir on child abuse by American author Dave Pelzer, Panchkula additional sessions judge Neerja Kulwant Kalson on Thursday ordered five years rigorous imprisonment to a man for sexual assault on a six-year-old girl at a village in Sector 26 earlier this year.
Usman, 35, who was convicted on August 21 under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO), 2012, was also handed a fine of Rs 1,000 during sentencing on Thursday.
The court also directed the Panchkula district legal services authority to grant a compensation of Rs 20,000 to the victim for her welfare and rehabilitation.
“The child is a soul with a being, a nature and capacities of its own, who must be helped to find them, to grow into their maturity, into fullness of physical and vital energy and the utmost breath, depth and height of its emotional intellectual and spiritual being; otherwise there cannot be a healthy growth of the nation,” the court observed in the 25-page detailed judgment.
Taking strict note of the “dramatic” rise in sexual offences against children in the past two decades, the court said: “Such shameful crime leaves scars over the soul and body of the little innocent ones forever. They are threatened and traumatised. The child vulnerable for obvious reasons cannot stand up for itself and stares at a bleak future.”
The case dates back to April 17, this year, when police had arrested Usman for sexual assault on a neighbour’s daughter. The minor was playing outside her house when the accused lured her to a secluded place by offering an ice cream. When her mother found her, she was very frightened and alleged the man touched her private parts and tried to rape her. Later, the locals spotted the accused and took him to police.