Police have dropped the charge of gangrape against the two accused persons in the Dalit minor girl burn and murder case in Kharinashi village under Mahakalapada police limits of the district as per the dying declaration of the girl.
“Earlier, we had booked both the accused Pradip Das and Eakadashi Das under Sections 376(g) (gang rape), 307 (attempted murder) of IPC and Sections 3 and 9 of SC and ST (atrocity prevention) Act on the charges of raping and setting ablaze the 15-year-old girl on July 28,” said Susanta Kumar Padhi, Sub-Divisional Police Officer (SDPO), Human Right Protection Cell of Kendrapara on Friday.
In her dying declaration to the magistrate on July 29 at the SCB Medical and Hospital in Cuttack, the victim had stated that the accused had not raped her but tried to rape her for which police dropped Section 376 (g) against them, added Padhi.
However, police have booked the two accused under Section 511 read with 376 (attempt to rape) of IPC and added Section 302 (murder) of IPC against them as the victim succumbed to burn injuries on August 8, added the SDPO.
Meanwhile, the government run District Children Protection Unit (DCPU) submitted a report before the Collector regarding the juvenile status of the accused persons.“Two officials of DCPU after verifying the school admission registers of both the persons in Kharinashi village, found that they were born in 1996 and therefore are juveniles. Under the Juvenile Justice Act, the minor will get a maximum of three years in jail,” said Bijaya Ketan Sahoo, District Child Protection Officer.
Section 15 (g) of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act mandates that an accused of 16-18 years of age, if convicted of any offence, can be sentenced to a special home for three years at the maximum. Later, he can be released on probation.
However, Section 16 of the Act also provides that a juvenile can only be kept at the special home till he attains 18 years and cannot be sent to jail thereafter, added Sahoo.
“The court will decide whether both the accused persons are majors or juveniles,” said Padhi.