The accused in the rape of a minor girl in Bandipora has been booked under POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offence) Act, a day after the district Child Welfare Committee (CWC) asked the police to register the rape case under POCSO and not Ranbir Penal Code.
The POCSO Act calls for the designation of special courts to put offenders on trial. The law also contains detailed guidelines on how to report a case of child sexual abuse as well as how the victim needs to be cared for and protected by special juvenile police unit or local police.
It also aims at providing protection to children (individual below the age of 18) from sexual violence including sexual assault, sexual harassment, and the inclusion of children in pornography and provides for establishment of special courts for trials of such offenders.
The law also lays down punishment for offenders of penetrative sexual assault and aggravated penetrative sexual assault and provides for rigorous imprisonment for life, and a fine.
The child welfare panel had also asked police to furnish the medical report of the minor girl to the committee at the earliest. The report, however, has not been submitted before the panel yet.
A police official, who has been monitoring the case of the minor girl, said, “The final report is yet to come, but the preliminary investigation reveals that the girl has been raped. But we can only say it with surety once the final report is with us.”
The alleged rape of the minor girl has triggered protests in the Valley and many have demanded stringent punishment for the accused, who has been detained.
The police, however, have constituted a special team to investigate the case.