MUMBAI: Observing that children below 12 years of age are becoming easy targets of assailants to fulfil their "physical needs", a special court has sentenced a 28-year-old man to imprisonment for life for raping and brutalising a six-year-old girl in suburban Kandivli in 2014.
The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act court judge HC Shende convicted Ali Mohammed Shaikh under section 376 (punishment for rape) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and other provisions of POCSO Act.
The judge sentenced him to rigorous imprisonment for life. As per prosecution, Shaikh had picked up the minor girl from a footpath while she was sleeping with her mother in the western suburb on the night of August 20, 2014.
Shaikh sexually assaulted and inserted a broom into the private parts of the girl, who was found crying the next morning in a nearby locality, the court was told.
Shaikh was identified during the investigation and arrested subsequently. "Nowadays, children below 12 years become easy target of the assailants to fulfil their physical needs. The innocent children who really do not know anything about sex are becoming prey of such assailants," the judge stated in her order which was made available recently.
The judge also noted that "small children of the footpath are always lifted by such persons and assaulted, and many a times those cases are not even reported".
Rape is not merely an assault on the victim but it is also destructive to her whole personality, the judge observed.
"In case of murder, a person kills a human and matter ends.
The rape and molestation of the victim not only disgrades the soul of the victim, but it also inevitably causes serious psychological and physical harm to the helpless victim," the judge stated.
The prosecution had examined 11 witnesses, including the victim's mother and eye-witnesses, during the course of the trial.