Chandigarh, April 9 (Agency)
Nine people, including two women, were convicted and sentenced to 10 years rigorous imprisonment by a court here Monday for the rape of a mentally challenged girl in 2009.
The victim, who was 19 years old when she was raped by a sweeper, was an inmate of the government-run Nari Niketan. The other accused had also physically abused the victim or helped the main accused.
"It is a matter of great shame and regret that the persons who were entrusted with the duty of looking after such (people), became monsters and took advantage of their position and thereby ravished the poor helpless and mentally retarded girl," the court observed.
The court also fined Rs.2,000 on each of the accused, who were booked by police for rape, criminal conspiracy and destruction of evidence.
The accused included Maya Rani and Kamala, Bhupinder Singh, Jamna Kumar Rana, Bijender Singh, Naresh, Devinder, Chhotu Ram and Bhagwan Yadav.
Police arrested the accused only in December 2009. The matter came to light after the victim complained of abdominal pain and medical tests revealed she was pregnant.
As the Nari Niketan scandal broke out, the Chandigarh administration filed a petition before the Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking permission to terminate the pregnancy of the victim.
The high court allowed the administration to go ahead with the termination of pregnancy. However, before that was done, the Supreme Court stayed the termination.
The victim delivered a baby girl in December 2009.