A youth has been sentenced to life imprisonment by a Delhi court for kidnapping and raping a five-year-old girl and then throwing her into a canal after trying to strangle her to death and burning her hair.
Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau also directed the Delhi government to pay Rs1 lakh as compensation to the victim for her rehabilitation saying the convict had committed a "ghastly" and "barbaric" crime and has given her a life-long trauma.
According to the prosecution, 25-year-old Shree Bhagwan had lured the minor in February this year to a secluded place on pretext of giving fruits and raped her there, after which he tried to strangulate her and burnt her hair and threw her in an over 15-feet-deep canal.
The girl was saved by a passerby, Sonu, who saw her clinging to plants on the canal's bank to save herself from falling.
Noticing the accused loitering near the canal in a suspicious manner, Sonu got him nabbed with help of others, and had him handed over to the police, who then lodged a case.
Refusing to show any leniency to the convict, the court said, "What worse the child could have faced? Having done all this, how can the convict now claim leniency? Any mercy shown to him under the given circumstances would be misplaced. Crime against children shakes the conscious of the society and sentencing is required to be stern."
"It was by sheer providence, her timely rescue by a good samaritan Sonu and the immediate medical aid provided to her that the child survived," the court said.
The court also imposed a fine of Rs60,000 on the convict saying, if realised, Rs 50,000 should be given to the victim.