Four get life term for raping Dalit woman in Rajasthan’s Alwar

Incident caused widespread outrage in State after footage of crime was released on social media

A special court in Alwar on Tuesday sentenced four men to rigorous life imprisonment for raping a 19-year-old Dalit woman at Thanagazi in 2019 and sentenced another to five years in jail.

The gang rape on April 26, 2019, had caused widespread outrage in Rajasthan after the crime was recorded and the footage was released on social media.

A special court for SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act cases held the four men — Hansraj Gujjar, Indraj Gujjar, Ashok Kumar and Chhote Lal — guilty under Section 376-D (gang rape) and other provisions of Indian Penal Code, and the fifth, Mukesh Gujjar, under the Information Technology Act. Among those awarded the life sentence, Hansraj Gujjar was ordered to be imprisoned till his death.

All the convicts are in the age group of 20 to 23 years. They had raped the Dalit woman in front of her husband after waylaying the couple, who were travelling on a motorcycle, on the Thanagazi-Alwar bypass road and dragging them to a deserted area. Mukesh Gujjar filmed the crime and later circulated the footage on social media.

The court also imposed a fine of ₹1 lakh each on those sentenced to life imprisonment and ₹50,000 on Mukesh Gujjar. The full amount of fine will be paid to the victim.

The Congress government in the State faced criticism over delay in registration of first information report (FIR) in the case, which took a political twist, with the Opposition BJP alleging that the police had turned away the victim and delayed action in view of the May 6, 2019, polling for the Lok Sabha election. The FIR was registered on May 2, 2019.

After the arrest of the accused, the charge sheet was filed promptly in the court and the victim was given a government job as a police constable. The State government took several measures to prevent crimes against women, including a new provision for registration of FIR in the office of the Superintendent of Police, in the aftermath of the incident.

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