Transgender Sentenced To Death For Rape & Murder Of Infant In Mumbai

Mumbai: A transgender person has been sentenced to death after being found guilty of abducting, raping and murdering a three-month-old girl child.

The crime took place in 2021 after the infant’s family expressed inability to pay money and give gifts to the Chougule, the accused, for blessing the newborn.

A special court in Mumbai found the 24-year-old guilty on charges including rape, murder, kidnapping, destruction of evidence of Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, reported The Indian Express.

The court acquitted a co-accused, who was also booked on the same charges, for lack of evidence.

The crime was pre-planned and would “send a chill down the spine of every parent of a girl child, especially in a poor vicinity,” the court said.

As there was no eyewitness to the kidnapping of the child from her home in the middle of the night on July 8, 2021, the court based its judgment on circumstantial evidence.

Family members and two neighbours testified in court that they saw Chougule around 2 am carrying a “bundle” on his shoulder.

The infant’s grandmother said that the accused visited their home seeking gifts, including a saree, coconut and Rs 1,100 to bless the newborn child. Since COVID-19 lockdown and restrictions were in force, the grandmother expressed her inability to give any money. She claimed that the accused thereafter threatened her to do something “which will make his name big” in the next few days.

The child’s body was found buried in a creek in south Mumbai’s Cuffe Parade area a few days later.

“The motive behind the commission of the offence was to create terror in a vicinity and become famous by his name so that no one should dare to refuse gifts to him. There are grievous penetrative genital injuries found on the body of the victim, who was totally defenseless. Extreme brutality reflects from the act of the accused,” special POCSO judge Aditee Uday Kadam said.

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