Palghar, Jan 31 (PTI) A court here has sentenced a man to 20 years of rigorous imprisonment for raping a six- year-old girl, observing it as a “heinous crime” against a child.

Additional Sessions judge R R Bhosale, in his order pronounced on Tuesday, also imposed a fine of Rs 16,000 on 21-year-old Ansar Ahmed Fazlur Rehman.

According to the prosecution, the accused, who worked as a labourer in a factory, and the girl’s parents were neighbours. They lived in a township in Maharashtra’s Palghar district.

In June last year, the accused raped the child on a few occasions after entering her house when she was alone. The girl’s parents once saw her crying in pain and on enquiring, she revealed the incident to them, the prosecution said.

The parents then filed a complaint at the Waliv police station.

The accused was arrested and booked under Indian Penal Code Sections 376 (rape) and 451 (house-trespass in order to commit offence), and relevant provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

The judge observed this was a “heinous crime against the child” and the prosecution successfully proved all the charges against the accused beyond reasonable doubt.

“Hence, the accused needs to be given maximum punishment,” the judge said in his order.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.