Satna (MP): A court on Wednesday awarded death sentence to a contractual teacher for raping a four-year-old girl about three months ago. According to PTI, Additional District and Sessions Judge Dinesh Kumar Sharma awarded the death penalty to Mahendra Singh Gond (23) under IPC section 376 AB (rape on woman under 12 years of age) and section 5/6 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. The girl, who was raped on July 1, is still in a critical condition and undergoing treatment at a Delhi hospital. (Also read: Delhi: Man Rapes Neighbour’s Daughter)

The court also sentenced the convict to seven years of rigorous imprisonment for kidnapping the girl. “The court awarded the death penalty to Gond after recording the statements of the girl and her parents over video-conferencing as they are in Delhi,” District Prosecution Officer Rampal Singh said. The judge cross-examined 21 prosecution witnesses.

According to Singh, Gond was friendly with the victim’s family. On July 1, he went to their place in an inebriated condition to meet the girl’s father. There, he saw the girl sleeping next to her father on a cot and he went back after meeting the man. Later, we went back only to find the girl sleeping alone as her father had gone to relieve himself.  “Taking advantage of the situation, Gond took the girl from there and raped her. After the sexual assault, he dumped her into the bushes,” he added.

On his return, the girl’s father raised an alarm and the family launched a search for her. Later, they found her abandoned in the bushes. Gond was arrested and a charge sheet was filed against him.

Madhya Pradesh was the first state to enact a law providing for death penalty for rapists of minor girls below 12. The Centre also brought about an amendment in the IPC to punish the rapists of minor girls below 12 with death on April 21.