The statement of a nine-year-old girl in 2018 against her father brought justice to her mother five years after he killed the woman.
In Alipurduar, a local court on Tuesday convicted and awarded life imprisonment to Prema Lepchan, a mason, for hacking his wife Tasha Maya Ghisingh to death in 2018. The little girl was the eyewitness.
Sources said that on May 31, 2018, Tashi Maya was washing clothes in their house at Barohudabusty under Birpara police station of the district.
Suddenly, Prema attacked her with a sharp weapon several times in front of their daughter. The woman died on the spot. Then, Prema fled.
The child's cries alerted neighbours who then rushed to the house and informed police.
Kaila Ghisingh, the murdered woman’s father, filed a complaint with the police.
On June 2 that year, Prema was arrested. Since then, he has been in judicial custody.
“The little girl, who was an eyewitness to the crime, narrated the incident and accused her father. She also made submissions before the court against her father, along with 11 other witnesses. Her statements strengthened the merit of the case,” said Suhrid Majumder, the public prosecutor of Alipurduar district court.
On Tuesday, Papiya Das, the additional district and sessions judge of Alipurduar, where the trial was in progress, ordered life imprisonment for Prema.
The court also imposed on him a fine of Rs 20,000, failing payment of which he would have to spend six more months behind bars.
“The girl, who is 14 now, has set an example. Despite knowing the consequences of her statement, she spoke the truth,” public prosecutor Majumder added.