Kochi: Ernakulam POCSO court on Saturday found Ashfaq Alam, a migrant labourer from Bihar, guilty in the rape and murder of a five-year-old girl in Aluva. The prosecution pleaded for capital punishment to the accused. Ashfaq Alam, who has a criminal history in Bihar, is the lone accused in the case. The verdict came exactly 100 days after the brutal rape and murder of the girl. She was the child of a couple from Bihar.
Public prosecutor G Mohan Raj said the court will pronounce the quantum of punishment after a detailed hearing on November 9.
“Prosecution has proven 16 charges against the culprit. Out of these, capital punishment should be awarded in five charges. The prosecution has pleaded before the court to award death penalty to Ashfaq Alam after hearing the mitigating circumstances in the case," said the public prosecutor.
As per a Supreme Court order, three reports on the mitigating factors like the mental or emotional condition of the culprit, his age, whether he can be reformed and whether he acted under coercion should be submitted before the court for awarding death penalty in a case. The court has called for these three reports from the state government, jail department, and probation officer.
Apart from this, the court has granted permission for the victim's counsel to file a statement. After obtaining these reports, a hearing will be held on November 9. The court is likely to pronounce the quantum of punishment on November 9 or 10 after the hearing. Charges, including murder, rape, abduction, unnatural sex and disrespect to dead body, were proven in the court.
The probe team, led by Aluva rural SP, had slapped charges under 16 Sections of IPC against the accused. The trial, which started on October 4, was completed in 26 days.
The child's parents welcomed the verdict and called for death sentence to the accused.
Ashfaq on July 28 abducted the five-year-old child of a couple from Bihar and brutally raped her before torturing her to death. On July 29 morning, her body was found in a sack near the market area at Aluva.
According to the police, the accused, who is a drug addict, had given the minor girl a bottle of juice laced with drugs. He raped and killed the girl after she fell unconscious.
A total of 41 witnesses were examined in the case. Ashfaq, who knows only Hindi, was provided an interpreter during the trial. The police wrapped up the investigation fast and filed the chargesheet within 30 days of the incident.