Kasaragod: A Kasaragod court sentenced a 60-year-old day labourer to 88 years of rigorous imprisonment for sexually assaulting a nine-year-old girl multiple times. He will have to serve 40 years in prison.
Muhammed alias Elsur Muhammed of Delampady was found guilty of all four charges he faced, including rape and kidnapping, said Prakash Ammannaya, the public prosecutor for sex crimes against children.
Muhammed used to take the girl to a nearby rubber estate by promising to get her mangoes and gooseberries and sexually abuse her, he said. According to the girl, Muhammed assaulted her at least three times, the last one being on August 14, 2019, Ammannaya said.
The crime came to light when another girl, aged 11 years, told her mother that Muhammed was molesting her. The girl also told her mother that Muhammed was abusing the nine-year-old girl too.
The two girls are neighbours and belong to poor families, the public prosecutor said.
Adhur police station registered two cases under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POSCO) Act, 2012.
In the first case, Muhammed was charged with sections 7 and 8 of the POCSO Act because the 11-year-old accused him of touching her private parts.
But the then Adhur station house officer - inspector K Premsadan found that Muhammed had raped the nine-year-old girl. The medical evidence proved the sexual assault, said Ammannaya.
Premsadan arrested Muhammed and charged with him repeatedly raping a woman [Section 376 (2) (n) of the IPC], raping a girl under 12 years [Section 376 (AB) of the IPC], kidnapping (Section 363 of the IPC), and sexual harassment (Section 12 of POCSO Act).
Judge A Manoj of Kasaragod Additional Sessions Court (I) found Muhammed guilty of all four charges and sentenced him to 40 years of rigorous imprisonment for sexually assaulting the girl multiple times, and another 40 years for sexually assaulting a girl under 12 years, and five years for kidnapping and three years for sexual harassment under the POCSO Act.
"The sentences will run concurrently and so he will have to serve 40 years of rigorous imprisonment," said Ammannaya.
The court also slapped a fine of Rs 7 lakh on him. If the fine is not paid, he will have to serve another seven years in prison, said the prosecutor.
The trial of the sexual abuse case of the 11-year-old girl has begun.