Three men in India sparked outrage throughout the country after kidnapping, raping, torturing, and murdering an 8-year-old girl. However, while they had been facing a death penalty, they’ve all been given life sentences in prison instead.
Murder of a Young Muslim Girl
Asifa Bano, a young Muslim girl, was reportedly taken from her nomadic Muslim tribe in January of 2018. At the time, she had been out with her family’s ponies in the Himalayan foothills.
After her abduction, she was drugged and held in a Hindu temple in Indian-controlled Kashmir by her captors. There, she was also sexually assaulted repeatedly for a week, later strangled, and bludgeoned to death with a stone.
Forensic reports found that in addition to being raped, she’d also been burned. Additionally, prosecutors claimed one of the attackers, during the child’s murder, ordered another one of the men to stop. The request wasn’t out of compassion, but rather so he could rape her one last time.
The case triggered multiple days of violent protests in the winter capital of Jammu and Kashmir. Additional demonstrations were held in other major cities across the country.
During the trial, there were hundreds of on-duty police on hand in Pathankot. Due to the fear of additional protests, security was also heightened in several surrounding areas.
Though prosecutors had requested execution for the men, the desired sentence was not what they received. The three men were found guilty as charged, but on Monday they merely received lifetime prison sentences.
One of the men, retired public servant Sanji Ram, had been the temple’s custodian. He was also accused of conspiring to destroy evidence pertaining to the case.