Witchcraft: Man convicted of sexually assaulting girl

Source: PTI | By Shahid Mukhtesar | Published on 16th April 2018, 12:26 AM | National News |

New Delhi: A man, who claimed to cure backaches through witchcraft, has been convicted of sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl on pretext of treating her ailment, with a city court relying on the sole testimony of the victim.

Additional Sessions Judge Amit Kumar held Shankar guilty of sexually assaulting and inappropriately touching the girl after sending her mother out to get some items to be used in treatment.

The court, which held the man guilty of the offence of sexual assault under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, is yet to pronounce the quantum of punishment. The convict faces a maximum of five years imprisonment.

The court relied on the testimony of the victim, who said her mother had taken her to the convict’s house in north-west Delhi for treatment of her backache through witchcraft but, instead, he inappropriately touched her private parts after sending her mother out to bring lemons for treatment.

The court noted that the girl has been consistent in her statements before the police and the court.

“There is no delay in lodging the FIR and accused was arrested from the spot. Only because no public witness joined the investigation is no ground to disbelieve the complainant or to hold that the prosecution could not prove the case. If the testimony of the victim is trustworthy and reliable, the accused can be convicted on the sole testimony of reliable witness,” it said.

According to the prosecution, the girl was taken to Shankar’s house on July 10, 2013 for treatment of her backache through “jhada” (a form of witchcraft).

The man sent the girl’s mother out of his house to get lemons for treatment, after which he sexually assaulted her, it alleged, adding the child immediately ran out of the house and informed her mother.

A complaint was lodged at the Shalimar Bagh police station and the accused was arrested.

During the trial, he denied the allegations and claimed he was falsely implicated by the victim’s mother as he refused to treat her daughter whom she brought at closing time. The claim was rejected by the court.

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