In Mumbai, the special POCSO court on Thursday sentenced a 27-year-old man to 20 years imprisonment for sexually assaulting his four-year-old cousin while during his visit to the city to attend ceremonies for the last rites after his grandfather's death in 2018.
The victim, who was just four years old at the time, was staying with her aunt, her father's sister, along with her younger sibling, who was just two years old. It is stated that the victim's mother died in a fire. It was claimed that the victim's mother was killed by the victim's father and grandfather by setting her on fire, for which the victim's father was in prison. The father was eventually released. However, when the incident took place, he was in prison.
How the crime unfolded
The victim's grandfather died on May 8, 2018, at the house of her aunt. After the death of her grandfather, the family of her father's elder brother had also come to reside at her aunt's place for all the religious rituals that are to be performed after the death of a person.
On May 26, 2018, between 6:00 am to 11:00 am, when the victim's aunt had been to the market to purchase articles for the puja, the accused slept near the victim and sexually assaulted her. When the victim shouted in pain, the accused and his mother brushed off the incident, saying the accused was just playing with her. They also threatened her to not tell anyone, specifically her aunt.
Later, when the aunt reached home, the victim kept crying and complaining that she had pain in her private parts and she kept urinating frequently. When the aunt confronted her, she revealed the act of the accused. The victim was taken to the doctor, who confirmed that the girl was sexually assaulted. Hence, the aunt registered a case against the accused.
Victim narrates ordeal to court
During the trial, the public prosecutor Veena Shelar examined the victim girl in January 2022, wherein the girl, who was by now in standard 1, narrated the entire incident before the court and also identified the accused. Her version was supported by her aunt. In total, Shelar examined eight witnesses.
Based on their testimonies and the medical report, the special judge SC Jadhav held the accused guilty of sexually assaulting the minor girl, who was his sister.