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Death penalty for youth

Sambalpur, Jan. 17: The fast track additional sessions judge court here today awarded death penalty to a youth for the rape and murder of a three-year-old girl last October.

On January 11, the court convicted Thidu Munda, 26, and Justice Ashok Kumar Panda today pronounced the sentence.

The city has reported at least 10 rapes in the past six months.

Public prosecutor Artatrana Mishra said: “We had appealed to the court to treat the case as rarest of rare.”

This is the second instance of a Sambalpur court awarding capital punishment to a rapist in the past four months.

Sources said Munda had lured the child for a treat when she was playing outside her house in Budhiapali area. When the girl’s parents couldn’t locate her till late evening, they lodged a complaint with Thelkuli police station.

Three days later, police found the decomposed body of the child from a nearby forest and registered a case in this regard.

After a manhunt, Munda was finally arrested from Jharsuguda railway station on October 13. Police said the victim’s family knew him.

“The accused was found guilty under sections 376 (2) (F), 366, 201 and 302 of the Indian Penal Code. Under Section 302, the court awarded death sentence to him, with a fine of Rs 5,000. In case of non-payment of the fine, two months of imprisonment would be added to the punishment,” said Mishra.

Under Section 376 (2) (F), he was condemned to lifetime rigorous imprisonment with a fine of Rs 5,000, Mishra said, adding that in case of non-payment of the fine amount, Munda would have to undergo an extra two months of rigorous imprisonment.

However, no separate sentence has been imposed upon the convict for the commissioning of punishable act under sections 366 and 201. “The local court will send the judgment to Orissa High Court for confirmation. After the confirmation, the judgment will be executed,” Mishra said.

On October 8, the Sambalpur district session judge had sentenced Pradeep Dalei, 35, to death in connection with rape and murder of a seven-year-old child.