Kochi: The Aluva market sported a festive mood on Tuesday as the man convicted of the rape and death of a five-year-old girl there was sentenced to death.
The headload workers of the market, some of them witnesses in the case, celebrated the death penalty for Bihar native Ashfaq Alam by distributing sweets to those who had gathered in the market.
Tajudeen, a headload worker who was a key witness in the case, led the celebrations. Thanking the Kerala police for the speedy investigation of the case, he hailed the verdict as a lesson for all.
"All of us here wanted the death sentence for the convict. We are happy that such a verdict has come. It should be a lesson for not only migrant labourers but for all. Perpetrators of such crimes should be sentenced to death," Tajudeen told media persons.
Tajudeen had seen the girl with Ashfaq on the day of the crime and he informed the police of the same after he learned from TV reports that the girl was missing.
When Tajudeen asked Ashfaq why was he taking the child to a waste dump yard in the market, the latter replied he was there for a drink and that the girl was his daughter.
The labourer said he did not investigate the matter further as it looked like a regular drinking affair. According to residents of the area, the waste dump yard near Aluva market is commonly used by miscreants and alcoholics after 3 pm for drinking.
The minor girl was brutally raped and strangulated to death on July 28 after she was abducted from her rented house. The body of the girl was found dumped in a stack in a marshy area behind a local market in nearby Aluva and the accused was arrested based on CCTV visuals.