Man gets death sentence for raping minor

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Mumbai, Jan 11 (UNI) The Bombay High Court today handed down death sentence to Harish Mohandas Rajput, a 47-year-old liquor addict from Pimpri, near Pune, for brutally killing a minor girl after raping her.

A division bench, comprising Justice S Radhakrishnan and Roshan Dalvi, observed that sexual violence is a serious blow to a woman's supreme honour and offends her self-esteem and dignity.

''It also degrades and humiliates the victim and leaves behind a traumatic experience,'' the Judges said while awarding death penalty to Rajput.

The Pune Sessions court had sentenced Rajput to life imprisonment for killing the ten-year girl, residing next to his house in Adarshnagar area in Pimpri, and over ten years Rigorous Imprisonment term for raping her. The state government had moved the high court for enhancement of the sentence, with Assistant Public Prosecutor Anand Patil successfully convincing the court of brutality and social impact of the heinous crime.

Apart from handing over the death penalty to Rajput, the judges have also asked the trial court to deal with such cases sternly, saying, any liberal attitude or meagre punishment or sympathetic view may be counter productive in the long run and against social interest, which needs to cared for and strengthened.

On October 24, 1999, Rajput had lured the victim to his house, when her parents were out and killed her brutally after raping her.

To wrap up the crime, he had hidden her body under a cot in his house. When the victim's parents realised her absence, they tried to find her out with their relatives and friends, while Rajput was calmly sitting in front of his door.

The crime came to light when Rajput's son came home in the evening. When he moved into the house and switched on lights he saw a hand under the cot. Realising that his son had seen the victim's body, Rajput confessed of committing the crime to his son and requested him to keep quiet. However, the boy went to Pimpri Police Station, where victim's missing complaint was being recorded, and narrated whatever he had seen and heard.

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