New Delhi: Sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act have been added in the case pertaining to the Class 12 student in Jharkhand who was set ablaze and succumbed to her injuries. Earlier, the deceased’s age was mentioned as 19 years in her recorded statement by the police which was later corrected to 15 years.
Dumka police informed about adding the sections of the POCSO act in the case, as per news agency ANI.
This comes after Child Welfare Committee (CWC) in Jharkhand’s Dumka district said that the Class 12 student who died days after being set on fire by a man was a minor, and demanded action against him under the POCSO Act.
The committee noted that she was around 16 years old as per the class 10 board examination marksheet and not an adult as claimed by the police.
Notably, a special POCSO court in Dumka ordered for the samples and evidence in the case, including burnt clothes of the deceased, to be sent to State Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL), Ranchi.
The court also sent both accused to 72-hour police remand. Police told the court that both needed to be confronted for further investigation, ANI reported.
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The incident in Dumka town occurred on August 23 when the accused allegedly poured petrol on the minor girl from outside the window of her room when she was sleeping and set her on fire. The teenager, who apparently did not reciprocate his overtures angering him, succumbed to her injuries.
“We recommend that sections of the POCSO Act be added to the FIR as the girl was a minor as per our probe,” Dumka CWC chairperson Amarendra Kumar told news agency PTI on Monday.
A four-member CWC team led by Amarendra Kumar met the victim’s family on Monday and procured her marksheet.
“According to her marksheet, she was born on November 26, 2006…she was a minor. So, sections under the POCSO Act are applicable in this case,” he added.
Earlier, Dumka Police had claimed that the deceased had mentioned that she was 19 years old in the statement given before the magistrate.
The National Commission for Women on Monday said it has written to the Jharkhand Police chief, calling for a fair investigation into the girl’s death.
“The Director General of Police has been directed to submit an early report on the progress of the investigation, which should be conducted by ADG rank officer,” Chief Minister Hemant Sorn informed on Twitter.
He said that the case will be taken up by a fast-track court for speedy disposal.
Another person accused of supplying petrol to the main accused was also arrested.
The POCSO Act provides stringent punishment to those engaging in sexual crimes against children along with the death penalty in cases of aggravated sexual assault.
(With Agency Inputs)