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Delhi Cantt rape: Delhi court directs NDDLSA to grant Rs 2.5 lakh interim compensation to family of victim

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A Delhi Court has directed the New Delhi-Delhi State Legal Services Authority (NDDLSA) to grant Rs 2.5 lakh interim compensation to family of a nine-year-old Dalit girl, who was allegedly raped and killed, after which her body was forcefully burnt by a priest and three others (State Vs Kuldeep Singh & Ors.).

The Court of Additional Sessions Judge Ashutosh Kumar, Special Court POCSO, Patiala House Court was informed by a Delhi Police Investigation Officer that the disclosure statement of the four accused have revealed that accused Radhey Shyam and Kuldeep Singh had raped and killed the minor victim, while the remaining two accused, namely Salim Ahmad and Laxmi Narayan, had helped them in trying to cremate the minor.

He further informed the Court that neither any statement of any eye-witness nor any other evidence, including medical or scientific, could be collected so far to confirm as to whether the child was raped or not. He further submitted that at this stage, he cannot conclusively say as to whether the victim was raped or not.

The Court noted his submissions and refused to allow further compensation on additional ground of alleged rape of the victim. However, it granted liberty to the family of the deceased girl to move an application in case the investigating agency collects further material or comes to the conclusion that the child was raped.

The incident took place on August 1, 2021 in Delhi Cantt Area. According to the statement of the victim’s mother, she originally belongs to Rajasthan, but has been residing in Delhi since her childhood and at present she, along with her daughter and husband, reside in the area.

From the perusal of the PCR forms, it was revealed that the PCR van which responded to the above calls, reported back to Command Room/PCR that the mother of the deceased had told the PCR staff that her nine-year-old girl had gone to fetch water from the water cooler at the cemetery in the evening and did not return. After some time, the priest of the cemetery told her that her daughter caught the current and was electrocuted. She said she rushed to the cemetery, where the priest performed the last rites of her daughter without her permission. The girl’s mother further said that two priests of the cemetery raped and murdered her daughter and later even cremated her without their consent.

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The court, meanwhile, sent the four accused, who were all known to the girl’s mother, to 14-day judicial custody. According to the FIR, the minor girl was raped, murdered and then cremated without her parents’ consent.

The accused have been booked under Sections 302 (murder), 376 (rape) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code, along with the relevant sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and the SC/ST Act.

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