Bhopal: District and sessions court, on Thursday, convicted a man awarding him 20-year Rigorous Imprisonment (RI) for sexually assaulting a minor girl under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. A case was registered against Panda Jharia alias Kaluram Mehra under Section 342,376(2)(I), and related sections of POCSO Act.
As per ADPO, 12-year-old victim, a student of class 6th was sexually assaulted by the convict in 2017. She lodged a complaint with Shahpura police that on July 12, the minor had gone to purchase a tea packet from a grocery shop when Mehra pulled her into his house and raped her.
In the year 2017, the man was caught sexually assaulting a 10-year-old girl and escaped the spot after the victim's mother arrived at the spot in search of her crying daughter.
Police had, then, registered a case of sexual assault and Section 3 and 4 of the POCSO Act 2012 and started investigation. Several places were raided in Jabalpur and Bhopal in search of the accused during the investigation but the accused managed to remain absconding. After all attempts to arrest the accused failed, police declared a reward of Rs 5000 on July 12, 2017 for providing the whereabouts of the accused. Ultimately, Jharia who was travelling in a bus with her wife Pragati alias Rukmani when he was nabbed by the police.
The man was also wanted in a case in Jabalpur after he had escaped with Pragati alias Rukmani Mehra who is Panda’s niece. At the time of their eloping, Pragati was mother of two daughters and later escaped with the accused. And then along with Pragati, settled in Baba Nagar under Shahpura police station area where he used to run a food stall and grocery stall.