Odisha: Court awards lifer to man, 20-year jail to wife in minor kidnap, rape case

Cuttack: A POCSO court in Cuttack today awarded life imprisonment to a man and 20 years jail to his wife after convicting the couple in a minor girl’s kidnap and rape case in 2019.

Judge Gayadhara Panda pronounced the verdict after convicting Amit Bindhani and wife Asha Lohar for the kidnap and rape of the 10-year-old girl in Satichoura area under Bidanasi police limits.

The POCSO court also imposed a fine of Rs 5,000 on Lohar. If she fails to pay the fine, she will spend another six months in jail, the order stated.

Judge Panda directed the District Legal Services Authority to pay Rs 5 lakh compensation to the minor girl. Of the compensation amount, Rs 3 lakh will be a fixed deposit in name of the minor girl and Rs 2 lakh will be given to her parents.

The special court pronounced the verdict on basis of 20 documentary evidences and statements of 12 witnesses.

Bindhani and Lohar were staying at a flat in an apartment in Satichoura area in Cuttack on rent, whereas the 10-year-old girl was living in a nearby slum along with her family. On July 18, 2019, the couple kidnapped the minor girl after spiking her food.

The couple then took the girl to Tata Jamshedpur and kept there for eight days. Bindhani raped the 10-year-old in Tata Jamshedpur while his wife helped him in committing the crime.

During the course of investigation, the Bidanasi Police traced the couple to Tata Jamshedpur and subsequently arrested them, and rescued the minor girl.

The police also came to know several such cases have been pending against Bindhani and Lohar in Tata Jamshedpur as well.

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