A Madhya Pradesh court today awarded the death sentence to a man for raping and killing a three-year-old girl, saying his 'barbaric crime showed he lacked even the basic sensitivities found in animals', according to the prosecution officer.
According to the police, the death sentence has been awarded in 14 cases involving minor victims in Madhya Pradesh in 2018, the highest number in child rape cases secured in a year in any state.
Additional Sessions Judge of Gauharganj (Raisen district) Surekha Mishra convicted Jitendra Uike, 24, under Indian Penal Code sections 376A (rape causing death) and 302 (murder), and sentenced him to death, prosecution officer Anil Kumar Tiwari said.
He was also found guilty under other IPC sections, as well as those of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, he added.
According to Mr Tiwari, while delivering the verdict, Judge Mishra observed that "even animals don't behave in such a manner with those who love them, but the convict has committed a barbaric crime with the daughter of his nearest relative, who gave him shelter in his house. His action shows that he not only lacks human feelings but does not even have a basic sensitivity found in animals."
Mr Tiwari said Uike was a close relative of the victim, who used to call him "chacha" (paternal uncle).
On August 13 this year, the accused picked the victim up from her grandparents' home on the pretext of dropping the minor at her father's home.
However, Uike raped her on the way, strangulated her, and then dumped the body in the forest, Mr Tiwari said.
Director General (Public Prosecution) Rajendra Kumar said the capital punishment had awarded in 16 cases this year in Madhya Pradesh.
Of these, 14 were related to rape, one of sodomy, all involving minor victims, and another of murder, he said.
"This is the highest number of capital punishments secured in a year in the history of Madhya Pradesh. No other state in India has had so many capital punishments doled out in child rape cases," he said.