Representational image.

A special court in Khonsa in Arunachal Pradesh on Monday sentenced a man to 20 years of rigorous imprisonment for allegedly molesting a 15-year-old girl.

Topha Wangshu, a native of Longkhaw village in Longding district was convicted under Section 4 of the POCSO Act for committing “penetrative sexual assault”, officials said.

Appearing before the court, the victim had testified that Wangshu had committed forceful sexual intercourse with her after which she got pregnant and later ended in a miscarriage.

An FIR was registered against Wangshu at the Longding police station in November 2019 under Section 376 (2) (i) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 4 of the POCSO Act.

The accused had, on the other hand, pleaded that he was in love with the victim and she had given her consent for the sexual intercourse.

However, as a sexual offense involving a child 15 years of age or younger is a punishable offence under the POCSO Act, the court sentenced Wangshu to 20 years of rigorous imprisonment, the minimum under the Act, officials said.

The Khonsa Court has further referred the matter to the Longding district legal services authority for providing adequate compensation to the victim under the Arunachal Pradesh Victim Compensation Scheme, 2011.

Khonsa, the headquarters of Tirap is around 300km from Itanagar.

DAMIEN LEPCHA

Damien Lepcha is Northeast Now Correspondent in Arunachal Pradesh. He can be reached at: lepcharaul@gmail.com