"When we questioned him, he used to be rude with us."
Indian man Kolipaka Praveen, aged 28, was given the death sentence at Warangal Court after he was found guilty of raping and murdering a nine-month-old child.
It is a landmark judgement which was passed on August 8, 2019. The incident happened on June 19, 2019.
Judge K Jaya Kumar announced that Praveen would be hanged for his crime.
On July 24, 2019, thirty witnesses were presented before the court along with video surveillance footage in order to prove Praveen guilty.
It was heard he climbed up the stairs of the house in Hanamkonda, Telangana, and kidnapped her from the terrace where she was sleeping beside her mother.
He took the child to a quiet location two streets away where he sexually assaulted her. When she cried in pain, he gagged her.
At 2:30 am, her mother woke to find her infant daughter missing. The family immediately started searching for her, neighbours also joined in the search.
Her uncle eventually found the child with Praveen. The perpetrator put the victim down and tried to run away, however, he was caught by the neighbours.
They beat him up and handed him over to the police.
The child and her family were originally from Hyderabad but she and her mother were staying at her grandparent’s house.
The child was unconscious and was taken to a hospital. Doctors treated her but she later died of her injuries.
Police Commissioner Dr V Ravinder said that a case was registered under various sections of the Indian Penal Code as well as Section six of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act.
The victim’s family demanded that Praveen received capital punishment. This led to members of different organisations conducting protests.
One neighbour, Padma, explained that Praveen has a history of misbehaving with women. He has also been booked for stealing several times in the past.
She said: “He would sometimes sleep on anybody’s terrace. When we questioned him, he used to be rude with us.
“Even after we complained regarding him, the police did not take any action. The child would have been alive today had the police taken action against him before.”
An investigation was completed in 21 days and officers submitted a charge sheet in court.
The Deccan Chronicle reported that during the trial, the lawyers supported the victim’s parents and there was no defence for Praveen.
After he was found guilty, the Indian man claimed he was intoxicated when he raped the child.
Judge Kumar sentenced Kolipaka Praveen to capital punishment. He said that he could appeal the sentence at the High Court.
There had been a large crowd outside the court waiting for the judgement. When it was announced, the crowd welcomed the sentence.
The police were also congratulation for conducting an efficient investigation which made sure that Praveen was lawfully punished for his crime.