Four years after the gangrape of a 20-year-old girl by 16 youths, two of them were sentenced today to 14 years of rigorous imprisonment (RI), a strong judgment marred by delay and the spectre of the still-absconding 14.
Court of additional judicial commissioner J.P.N. Pandey pronounced the sentence after three years of trial in his court.
Ranjeet Kumar (25) and Chandrakant Paswan (30), who had been staying in judicial custody in Birsa Munda Central Jail since their arrest in 2009, were put back in bars after the sentencing.
Prosecution lawyer Mohammed Tanveer said the duo received their sentence while the court directed director-general of police to arrest the 14 others and produce them before court for trial.
"Besides RI for 14 years, the duo will also pay a fine of Rs 4,000 each. If not, they will stay in jail for four months extra," Tanveer said.
A missing FIR was registered at Sukhdeonagar police station on February 14, 2009 when the girl, a resident of Ratu Road area who had left her Metro Lane home for her craft class, did not come back.
After three months, she reappeared and told the police that she had managed to escape from the clutches of the youths who had kidnapped her, kept her confined for three months in Deoghar and raped her.
She told the police that the youths overpowered her by making her unconscious with the help of a spray. Then, some bundled her in an auto to Ranchi station from where she was taken to Deoghar and kept captive for three months where the youths sexually assaulted her at different times and places. She also gave the police names and addresses of the accused.