Yavatmal sessions court on Friday awarded double death sentence to a convict who had put the humanity to shame by biting off flesh from the body of two year old and raping her brutally, which led to het death. The verdict is seen as the first death sentence post amendment of section 376 IPC. The accused was also awarded another death sentence under section 302 for murder. He was also sentenced to two life terms under Section 376 (rape) and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO Act) 2012.
Judge AC Chaphale, while terming the killing as ‘rarest of rare’, said that there was no chance of reformation of 21-year-old Shatrughan Masram and he would continue to be a menace to the society.
The spine-chilling incident had taken place on February 11, 2013, where the accused had torn flesh off the toddler’s body with his teeth. Her upper and lower lips were later found near the place of the crime. There were bite marks all over her body. The assault was so brutal that the entire portion from her vagina till anus was torn apart, resulting in her death.
Public prosecutor Parshuram Gadbaile said the victim belonged to a labourer family from Andhra Pradesh, who had arrived in Ghatanji tehsil of Yavatmal just four months before the incident. On the fateful day, there was some function in nearby Dutt temple, where villagers, including the girl’s parents, had gathered. They had left the girl at Pundlik Masram’s home, where she was playing with other girls.
At around 7.30pm, the convict came to Pundlik’s home and said that the girls’ parents had told him to bring her to the temple. Pundlik objected, since it was night and said the girl will go off to sleep. However, the convict insisted on taking the girl with him. He then took the girl to a secluded place at a nearby building under construction. He had been seen by some witnesses while carrying the girl.
The girl’s parents reached the spot while searching for the girl and caught the convict while performing the heinous act. They immediately took her to Dr Jaffer Siddiqui, who declared her brought dead. The post mortem confirmed the brutal assault by Masram that led to her death. The Parwa police station lodged offences against him under section 302, section 376 (A) (amended), 376 (2) (f) (i) (m) (rape) and under POSCO Act and filed a charge sheet. Thirteen witnesses were identified and called in court by the prosecution.
The court observed that there are several aggravating circumstances that prove the convict’s clear involvement in the crime and the brutality with which he had carried out the act on an innocent victim. There were hardly any mitigating circumstances except his age. It said that in view of the depravity and brutality shown by the convict while committing the heinous act, there appears to be no chance of reformation or rehabilitation and he fittingly deserved nothing else but capital punishment.