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7 May 2017

Death sentence for minor rape and murder

TT, Alipurduar, May 6: A tea garden worker in Alipurduar was sentenced to death today for raping and murdering a minor girl of the estate four years ago.
Sources said Albert Toppo, 35, a resident of the Mathura Tea Estate, around 18km from Alipurduar town, had taken the 12-year-old girl to a local market on February 26, 2013, by promising to buy her chocolates.
When the girl, who was Toppo's neighbour, did not return at night, her parents and neighbours searched the area. The next day, her body was found in the tea garden.
"She had been strangled with a sleeve of her sweater. There was evidence of sexual torture. The rape was confirmed in the post-mortem report," a source said.
During the probe, the police came to know that some residents had seen the girl with Toppo at the local market before she went missing.
Toppo was arrested and during the interrogation, he admitted to the rape and murder.
Nine months after the crime, the girl's father, who had been depressed, suffered a cardiac arrest and passed away.
The girl's mother was present in additional district judicial magistrate Ashok Kumar Pal's court today. "I am happy with the verdict. I lost my daughter and then my husband and had been waiting for justice all these years," she said.
Prasanta Narayan Majumdar, the public prosecutor, said: "The court held that the crime fell in the rarest-of-rare category. The judge ordered that the accused be hanged till death and appreciated the role of the police."
Charges under Indian Penal Code Sections 302 and 376B had been brought against Toppo. The tea garden worker has elderly parents, wife and two children.
Yesterday, the Supreme Court upheld the death sentences handed to the four accused in the 2012 Delhi gang rape and murder.

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