An Indian man was handed the death sentence on Saturday for the rape and murder of a four-month-old girl, in one of the quickest trials of its kind in the country amid outrage over sexual violence against children.
The court in Madhya Pradesh state’s Indore city convicted the 21-year-old man of kidnapping, rape and murder and under sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO), police officer Harinarayanachari Mishra said.
Prosecutor Akram Sheikh said that the brutality of the crime made it the “rarest of rare” cases and urged the judge to give capital punishment to the man, broadcaster NDTV reported.
The trial was concluded in just three weeks, state chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said, adding that the punishment would prove to deter such heinous crimes and provide a safer environment for girls and women in the state.
On April 20, the man, who was said to be the infant’s uncle, raped and killed her when she was sleeping outside on a pavement with her parents, who sell balloons.
The Indian government recently approved stringent punishments for sexual violence against children, including the death penalty for those convicted of raping girls younger than 12 years.
The decision came against the backdrop of spiralling outrage over the rape and killing of an 8-year-old girl in Jammu and Kashmir and several other cases of sexual assault involving minors in recent months.