Nagaon: A court in Assam on Friday awarded death sentence to the prime accused in gangrape and murder of the 11-year-old girl in state’s Nagaon district earlier in March this year. Zakir Hussain was sentenced to death by the District and Session Judge Rita Kar under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act for the murder, and to life imprisonment for raping the minor girl.

While the prime accused 19-year-old has been given the death penalty, the other two juveniles were tried by the Juvenile Justice Board. They have now been put in a remand home for three years. Nagaon SP Shankar Raimedhi said that a special investigation team (SIT) had been set up to fast-track the case and speedy justice to the minor girl. SP Raimedhi added, “That is why we have been able to bring justice in just 5 months. It is a record for the Assam Police. The brutality of the case ensured that it was put on fast track court.”

In the chargesheet filed in April, five more people had been named which included Husain’s parents, his brother, his brother-in-law and the person who was driving the car in which Husain fled from the scene of the crime. SP Raimedhi said, “The other 5 were charged with criminal conspiracy and destruction of evidence. However, they have been acquitted.”

On March 23, an 11-year-old minor girl was gangraped, doused in kerosene and set on fire, by her 12-year-old classmate, her 11-year-old cousin and 19-year-old neighbour, Zakir Husain. The minor girl’s rape created a huge furore in Assam. The three accused gagged and gangraped her and then set her body on fire. The youths then fled from the scene. Soon after, the girl was rushed to Guwahati Medical College Hospital, where she succumbed to injuries later that night.

The victim’s family is yet to receive monetary compensation.