Death Penalty Awarded Within 110 Days for Convict in 5-Year-Old’s Rape-Murder

In a swift and decisive move, an Ernakulam sessions court in Kerala has handed down the death sentence to Ashfaq Alam, the perpetrator behind the brutal rape and murder of a five-year-old child in Aluva. The Additional District and Sessions Judge, K Soman, wasted no time in pronouncing the sentence today, a mere four months after the heinous incident occurred in July.

Alam, a migrant worker from Bihar, committed the atrocious act against a child who lived in the same building. The young victim’s life came to a tragic end, with her body discovered in a sack in a swampy area behind a local market in Aluva.

Facing a total of sixteen charges, Alam was found guilty on all counts, including aggravated penetrative sexual assault, rape, and murder. The court’s order, emphasizing the gravity of the crimes, stated that Alam deserved no leniency. The judge sentenced him to death under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code, directing that he be hanged by the neck until he is dead. The order will be submitted to the High Court of Kerala for confirmation of the death sentence.

The severity of Alam’s actions led to convictions under various legal provisions, including Sections 376 (rape), 377 (unnatural sex), 328 (hurt by use of poison), 364 (kidnapping for murder), 366 (a) (procuration of a minor girl), 367 (kidnapping for causing grievous hurt), 297 (indignity to human corpus), and 201 (disappearance of evidence) of the Indian Penal Code. Additionally, he faced charges under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO Act) and the Juvenile Justice Act.

The death sentence was specifically for the murder, while life imprisonment was imposed for the rape and offenses under the POCSO Act, with the judge specifying that life imprisonment in this case means incarceration for the remainder of Alam’s natural life.

In addition to the imprisonment, Alam was ordered to pay fines ranging from ₹10,000 to ₹1 lakh for each offense. Notably, a ₹1 lakh fine was imposed for the grave crimes of rape, murder, and offenses under the POCSO Act.

The trial proceeded at an expedited pace, with the court pronouncing the accused guilty just 26 days after the trial began on October 4. The legal proceedings commenced on September 7, and charges were framed and read to Alam on September 16. The swift delivery of justice is commendable, ensuring that the legal process unfolded efficiently.

The sentence handed down today, on the 110th day after the crime, sends a powerful message about the commitment to ensuring justice for victims of heinous crimes. The court’s decisive actions reflect the urgency and severity of such cases, providing closure to the grieving family and underscoring society’s collective condemnation of such despicable acts.