The Hojai district and sessions court awarded the death sentence to Bikram Harijan alias Chandan, convicting him of the rape and murder of a minor child.

Harijan was accused of raping and murdering a five-year-old girl in Dariyabasti in Hojai on February 26 last year.

In the historic judgement, additional and district sessions judge Nagen Senabaya Deuri pronounced the death sentence on the accused, convicting him under Sections  302, 376 (A) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC)and Section 6 of Protection of Children From Sexual Assault Act,2012.

“Due to Covid 19 lockdown, it took nine months to start the proceedings in the case. The court of the additional district and sessions judge has pronounced the judgement after two months of proceedings,” said advocate Amarjyoti Saikia, who represented the victim.

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“We are very happy that the aggrieved family is getting the justice,” he said.

The court has also ordered one-time ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakhs to the victim’s family.

Saikia further said that with the efforts of district legal service authority general secretary Pronita Morang, ex-gratia has already been provided to the victim’s family.

The body of the child was found in a jungle near her village in Daryiabasti in Hojai.

Locals had last seen her with the accused on the previous day.

The gruesome incident had sparked a massive outrage the district, with hundreds of villagers gheraoing the police station and shouting slogans like ‘We want justice’.

Several organizations also carried out agitation programmes and submitted memorandums to the Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal and many other higher authorities, demanding stringent punishment for the accused.

The victim’s father had filed a case in the Hojai Police Station.

Based on the circumstantial evidence and eyewitnesses accounts the police had arrested Bikram Harijan.

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