Amit Paul being taken from Bokaro court to Chas jail on Tuesday. (Pankaj Singh)
A 28-year-old man was sentenced to seven years’ rigorous imprisonment and fined Rs 5,000 on Tuesday for raping a minor five years ago.
Amit Paul, a resident of Lower Bazar at Chandankyari, about 32km from Bokaro steel city, was sent to Chas jail after Bokaro district sessions and fast track court II judge Satya Prakash Sinha held him guilty under Section 376 of the IPC. The convict will have to spend another six months behind bars if he fails to cough up the fine.
The case (No. ST-261/10) dates back to 2008.
According to government lawyer R.K. Rai, who fought the case on behalf of the victim, the convict had not only raped the 13-year-old, who hailed from his neighbourhood and used to work as a maid at his house, but also later married her to evade arrest only to throw her out after a few weeks.
“On March 23, 2008, the victim, who is now 18, had gone to Paul’s house to work. There was no one at his place. She was cleaning a room when Paul, who was keeping a tab on her movements, went inside. He gagged her at knifepoint and then took her to an empty shack nearby where he raped her. He fled after the crime,” Rai said.
The victim went back home and narrated what happened to her parents, who turned to neighbours, seeking justice. They also lodged a complaint with Chadankayari police.
As public outrage grew, Paul, fearing a backlash, married the girl and took her to his home. His parents also agreed to accept her as their daughter-in-law. Thereafter, the minor’s family withdrew the case.
But Paul threw the girl out of his house after about three weeks when the situation calmed down, saying he would never accept her as his wife.
Later, the victim filed a complaint case with the chief judicial magistrate. The case was then transferred to the fast track court that delivered the verdict on Tuesday.
“Amit had evil intentions from the start. He married the girl and kept her in his house just to get the police and people off his back,” Rai said.