first_imgA teenager was sentenced to death by a court in central Assam’s Nagaon on Friday for the gang rape and murder of an 11-year-old girl five months ago. Zakir Hussain, the 19-year-old convict, was found to have taken the lead in raping the minor and setting her on fire at her residence in Batadrava on March 23. She died of burns while being transferred from the Nagaon civil hospital to the Guwahati Medical College and Hospital that night. The court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate in Nagaon found Hussain guilty on September 4 but reserved the pronouncement of the quantum of punishment for Friday. The police had filed a case and arrested eight people, almost all neighbours of the girl, within two days of her death. The accused were arrested on charges of rape, house trespass, causing disappearance of evidence and murder under the IPC. After a swift probe, the police filed a charge sheet on April 28 against eight persons. Five of them were acquitted due to lack of evidence against them while two others are being tried in a juvenile court. The incident had led to widespread protests across the State with the Assam government announcing in the Assembly that it will bring in a stringent anti-rape law in the next session of the House. The government also announced to recruit women sub-inspectors through a special drive to have 30% women in the police force. Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal had launched a toll free helpline, 181-Sakhi, for women in distress and the Gauhati High Court approved the proposal for setting up exclusive fast-track courts for trial of cases related to rape and murder of women and children in Assam. Organisations have welcomed the judgment. (With PTI inputs)last_img

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