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Coimbatore: Man convicted for raping, murdering of 7-year-old Pannimadai girl

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Coimbatore, Dec 27: A man has been convicted on Friday for raping and murdering seven-year-old girl in Pannimadai, Coimbatore, by a POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) court. Quantum of punishment will be delivered later.

A seven-year-old girl, who went missing on March 24, was found dead near her house the following day, with her limbs tied.

Coimbatore: Judgment on rape & murder of 7-year-old Pannimadai girl to be pronounced today

The incident, which happened in March this year, had triggered massive protests in Coimbatore as people demanded immediate arrest of the accused.

What is the case:

On March 24, a seven-year-old girl went missing from her house in Pannimadai village in Coimbatore district of Tamil Nadu. Later on the same day, the girl's mother had filed a missing person's complaint.

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    The next day, police discovered the mutilated body of the girl near the complainant's house. An autopsy confirmed that she was raped before being smothered to death.

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    A 34-year-old man, Santosh Kumar, was taken into custody almost a week later on charges of sexually assaulting and murdering the minor girl in Pannimadai.

    The accused, Santhosh, a resident of Thondamuthur later confessed to sexually assaulting the seven-year-old girl, who lived close to his grandmother's house in Pannimadai, before strangling her to death.

    The postmortem report revealed that the girl was subjected to sexual assault more than once.

    Preliminary investigation had revealed that the crime was committed by the accused at his grandmother's house.

    It was also said that Santhosh's grandmother also died when the girl's death was reported and investigations were on to ascertain whether the accused had a role in it.

    Accused faced wrath of angry public

    Accused Santosh Kumaar was thrashed by a public earlier this year at a government hospital when he was brought there for a medical checkup.

    Santhosh Kumar faced the fury of a group of people who rained blows on his face and neck as he was being escorted by police to a van after completion of the check-up. However, police had managed to push him into the van and rushed out of the hospital premises.

    The people who attacked Kumar raised slogans that such criminals should not be allowed to go scot-free.

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