SALEM: The Salem district Mahila court has convicted and sentenced five persons, each to 47 years of rigorous imprisonment, besides imposing a double life term on each for what was one of the most horrendous cases of abduction, gang-rape and murder of a ten-year-old-girl in February 2014. The accused are believed to be PMK functionaries.
Handing down the sentences on Thursday under various IPC sections in the court this evening, after convicting all the five accused in this case on March 19, the Mahila court Judge, Mrs. Vijayakumari, said they would each have to undergo 47 years in prison under different IPC sections including 120(b) (criminal conspiracy), 450 (house trespass), 366 (kidnap), 363 (punishment for kidnap of child), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence), and 404 (misappropriation of property).
The Judge specified the terms under each counts of the above IPC sections which totals to 47 years of imprisonment for each of the five accused persons - Bhoopathy, Anand Babu, Anandan, Balakrishnan and Prabhakaran-, all belonging to Sendraayampalayam village near Vazhapaadi on the outskirts of Salem. All the five accused persons are believed to be PMK functionaries. The Judge further, additionally sentenced all the five accused to double life sentence for each under IPC section for murder, and two sections of the 'POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act. Each of the accused were also slammed a fine of Rs 5, 000 and failure to pay up would attract another six months of jail term. All the sentences, are to run concurrently, the Judge ruled.
The Prosecution case was that on the day of the occurrence of the crime in February 2014, the five accused, under the influence of liquor, barged into the house of a poor weaver's family in the same area that night, where the poor girl was sleeping with her two sisters, forcibly took away the girl to a deserted hill area nearby, and gang-raped the hapless minor. As the girl died under such horrific circumstances, the accused tied her body onto a tree and fled the scene.
It became one of the most sensational and shocking cases in 2014 and Vaazhapadi police subsequently arrested all the five accused persons, investigated the case and filed the charge-sheet in the Mahila court. After this traumatic incident, the weavers' family left the village for some other place, the court was informed and the prosecution sought maximum punishment for offences committed.