Chittoor: The Chittoor first additional and sessions court, on 24 February, awarded death sentence to 27-year-old Mohammed Rafi for the rape and murder of a five-year-old girl that had shocked the state in November 2019. The victim’s family and relatives hailed the verdict and said that justice had been served.
On 8 November 2019, a five-year-old girl was found dead under mysterious circumstances behind KNR Convention Centre at Chenetha Nagar in Angallu village under Chittor’s Kurabalakota mandal. Earlier on the night of 7 November, the girl was seen playing with an unidentified man. He had also taken photographs of the girl on his phone. On the morning of 8 November, the girl was found dead behind the convention center with visible injuries on her waist, abdomen, and feet. The Mudivedu police had registered a case following a complaint by the victim’s parents.
The Madanapalle sub-division police led by deputy superintendent K. Ravi Manoharachari launched an investigation into the case. They checked CCTV footage and found that the girl was lured by an unidentified person. She had walked out of the function hall with the man on 7 November at around 10 p.m. However, the CCTV footage could not help identify the man.
Based on eyewitnesses, a portrait of the suspect was made and circulated on social media and police stations across Andhra Pradesh. The police got some clues from various quarters which led them to Mohammad Rafi, a native of Basinikonda, who was arrested on 16 November. The investigation revealed that Rafi had sexually assaulted the girl before killing her. The forensic science laboratory sent the report to the court in a record 10 days. During the course of the investigation, it was found that the accused was also involved in a similar rape case involving a minor at nearby Basinikonda in 2008 but was acquitted later.
Chittoor police chief S. Senthil Kumar, who took a proactive role in busting the case, said that the accused had admitted that he sexually assaulted the girl before murdering her. The police had filed the charge-sheet in the case on 10 December, within 17 working days from the date of arrest. A 90-day period is allowed for filing charge-sheet in rape cases.