A Meerut court on Friday sentenced a man to life imprisonment for attempting to rape a 100-year-old Dalit woman. The incident happened in 2017 and the woman died of shock during the medical investigation.
“The convicted person was convicted under Articles 302, 376/511 and 458 of the IPC and was sentenced to life imprisonment. He was also fined ₹ 25,000, ”said Nishant Kumar Garg, the special prosecutor who represented the state in court.
According to the order, passed by Mohd. Ghulam Ul Madar, special judge (SC / ST law), Meerut, the incident occurred on the night of October 29, 2017 in the village of Raghunathpur under the Jani de Meerut police station, when the convict, Ankit Punia, a neighbor of the victim, entered his residence in a drunken stupor and attempted to sexually assault him.
When the victim’s grandson and his wife rushed over, after hearing their grandmother’s screams, they found the convict lying on the victim.
“The grandson sounded the alarm and grabbed Ankit, in his mid-30s, but he managed to escape. The victim was taken to the government hospital, where she died the next day during the medical examination. The autopsy report said the victim was already ill due to age-related issues, but died due to shock from the assault, ”Garg said, adding that the convict had however been paid the charges withheld under Articles 3 (2). 5 of the law SC / ST (prevention of atrocities), 1989.
The convict’s lawyer argued that the victim’s family owed Mr. Punia 1 lakh to Mr. Punia’s family and that they had filed a false complaint against their client so as not to have to repay the loan and obtain a government compensation. “Unable to produce any documentary evidence, the honorable judge ignored his argument,” said Mr. Garg.
“There was no motive. Very drunk, he just couldn’t hold back his sexual urge, ”Garg said. “It’s the same as some perverts assault infants and children,” he said. The judge described the act as heinous and said that a lighter punishment would send an unfavorable message to society.
However, the judge did not find the case to fall into the rarer category of rare and, as a result, the accused was sentenced to life imprisonment.