A special POCSO court on Tuesday sentenced to life imprisonment the main accused in a 2016 case of rape and suicide of a Dalit minor girl in Bikaner. Judge Devendra Singh Nagar awarded life imprisonment to Vijendra Singh, while the college hostel warden Priya Shukla and her husband Prateek Shukla were sentenced to six years in jail each.
The girl was a student of a teachers’ training institute and lived in the college hostel. After the rape incident, she was found dead in a water tank in the hostel. The three were convicted under various sections of the IPC, POCSO and SC and ST (prevention of atrocities) Act on Saturday and the quantum of sentence was pronounced on Tuesday.
Vijendra was held guilty for rape, abetment of suicide, kidnapping and other offences while the Shukla couple was convicted for kidnapping and abetment to suicide. The college owner Ishwar Chand Baid was acquitted in the case. On the intervening night of March 28-29, 2016, the victim had been found in the room of physical trainer and instructor Vijendra Singh by the hostel warden. After this, the hostel authorities had got a written apology from them. The next day, the girl’s body was found in a water tank in the hostel after which a rape and murder case was registered.
The victim belonged to Barmer district and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had met her family members after the incident and had targeted the then BJP government.