National

5-year-old girl gangraped by temple priests in MP

Bhopal, Oct 3 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 10/3/2018 11:31:10 AM IST

A five-year-old girl was gangraped by two priests inside a temple premises in Datia district on Tuesday said police.

Police arrested both the priests - Raju Pandit(55) and Batoli Prajapati (45) late Tuesday night and booked them under Section 376 (rape) of Indian Penal Code and Protection of Children from Sexual Offence (POCSO). Police suspect the duo might have assaulted other minors too.

The girl, a farmer’s daughter, was admitted to a district hospital where her condition is stated to be stable.

“The accused lured the girl with a sweet dish inside the temple. They raped the girl and then dropped her outside her home. They also threatened the girl of dire consequences if she revealed the crime to anyone,” Goraghat police station town inspector Ripudaman Singh said.

“The girl’s mother noticed that her daughter was feeling great pain and especially while relieving herself. When the mother asked the girl why she was in pain, the girl initially did not say anything, but later she blurted out her ordeal. The family informed the police and rushed the girl to the district hospital,” Singh said.

Datia, superintendent of police, Mayank Awasthi said, “The people have alleged that the two priests might have harassed other minors too, as several girls had told their parents that these priests were ‘not good’. We are investigating the matter.”

The crime is the latest in Madhya Pradesh’s depressing statistics of rape and molestation.

According to the state women’s cell records, 1,894 rapes and 4,069 molestation cases were registered in the first five months of 2018. This translates to an average of 13 rapes and 27 instances of molestation every day.

In December 2017, MP became the first state in the country to pass a bill providing for the rapists of girls aged 12 or below to be hanged till death. The minimum punishment, the bill stated, would be 14-year rigorous imprisonment or life term till death. This would go up to 20 years rigorous imprisonment in cases of gang rape of girls aged 12 or less.

Over the last seven months, fast track courts in Madhya Pradesh have pronounced 12 death sentences in rape cases.

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