Amaravati: Sexual offences against women and children continued unabated despite Andhra Pradesh passing stringent laws to provide for harshest punishment to the guilty in such cases.
A day after the state Assembly passed two Bills to ensure death penalty for rapists and life imprisonment for those found guilty of sexual assault on children, three incidents of rapes of three minor girls surfaced in various parts of the state.
In the first case reported from Guntur town near state capital Amaravati, a five-year-old girl was reportedly raped by a 19-year-old intermediate (12th standard) student.
According to the police, the accused took the girl, living in his neighbourhood, to his house and sexually assaulted her. The victim's mother noticed injuries on her private parts when the little girl complained of pain.
The police said they arrested Lakshma Reddy and booked him under Section 376 of Indian Penal Code and under various sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. A police officer said the case will be referred to the fast-track court for speedy trial and early punishment to the guilty.
Several women organisations and opposition parties staged protests demanding death penalty for the guilty. Andhra Pradesh Women's Commission chairperson Vasireddy Padma faced angry protest by the victim's family members when she visited the girl at the Guntur hospital. She assured them justice.
In the second case, a deaf and dumb girl was allegedly raped in Prakasam district. The police have arrested the accused, who has been identified as Siva.
In another case in Krishna district, a woman forced her 14-year-old daughter to satisfy the sexual desires of her paramour. The police arrested the woman and her paramour after the girl's paternal grandmother lodged a complaint.