23-year-old convicted for kidnap and rape of minor

KHONSA, 1 Jun: The special POCSO court here in Tirap district on Monday convicted one Hok Hana Chakma @ Dhananjoy (23) from Chakma Basti in Namsai district for the offence of kidnapping and rape of a minor girl, and sentenced him to 10 years of rigorous imprisonment.

He has been further convicted under Section 6 of the POCSO Act and sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for 20 years with payment of fine.

In June 2020, the victim, who was then a 15-year-old Class 9 student, received a phone call from an unknown caller. The caller was Hok Hana Chakma. He started regularly calling the girl, and lured her by giving the impression that he belonged to a well-to-do family. The accused asked the girl to meet him on 23 June, 2020. He later kidnapped her from Sompoy and raped her in the jungle.

The next day, he took the girl to his dilapidated thatched house and kept her there for four days. The accused committed repeated sexual assault upon the girl, till she was recovered by her parent on 27 June, 2020.

On 28 June, 2020, the father of the child lodged an FIR at the Diyun police station. SI RK Yein investigated the case and submitted a chargesheet against Chakma for the offence of kidnap and rape. On 31 December, 2020, cognizance was taken against the convict.

Special public prosecutor N Hallang appeared for the prosecution and examined nine witnesses.

The accused pleaded that he was in love with the girl, and that she had gone willingly with him and cohabited with him.

Special POCSO Judge H Kashyap in his judgment, however, said that a consensual love affair is not a defence against the criminal charge of kidnapping a child under 18 years of age and rape, as consent of a minor is no consent in the eye of the law.

The case has been forwarded to the Changlang district legal services authority for providing adequate compensation to the victim under the Arunachal Pradesh Victim Compensation Scheme, 2011, for her rehabilitation. (DIPRO)