NCPCR Chair hails conviction of 21 people for forcing 13-year-old girl into prostitution

The stringent punishments slapped by the POCSO court in Chennai on 21 accused in their alleged involvement in raping and pushing a teenage girl into prostitution is a welcome decision, and I would like to applaud the honourable court for taking such an apt call on such heinous crime, says Priyank Kanoongo, Chairperson – National Commission for Protection of Child Rights.

Eight people have been sentenced to life imprisonment, while a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) functionary and journalist were among 13 people given a 20-year jail term each for their involvement in the case. The special court registered cases under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, which had convicted all 21 accused in the case on September 15, announced the quantum of sentences on Monday.

While speaking exclusively to The Quotes, Mr Kanoongo expressed his relief with the quantum of punishments and said, “Such crimes are an example of the fact that we need to do so much as a society. The involvement of so many people at several layers is shocking and completely unacceptable. But I would like to congratulate the honourable court for taking such a decision.

The convicts included the stepfather, stepmother of the victim, C Pugalendhi, a suspended inspector attached to Ennore police station, BJP functionary G Rajendran and Vinobaji, a journalist working at a private media channel were among others who were given 20 years jail term. A total of 26 people were identified as accused in the case, but four absconded, and one person died during the pendency. The case came to the fore as the victim, just 13 years old then, was allegedly raped by over 100 people and forced into prostitution.

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