New Delhi: A youth has been jailed for 10 years by a Delhi court for kidnapping and raping a minor girl to compel her to marry him.
Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau also imposed a fine of Rs 20,000 on Uttar Pradesh native Raju Kumar Verma saying his crime was "unpardonable."
The court held Raju guilty of kidnapping 13-year-old girl from here and taking her to Ballia in UP, noting that he was an "old player" and had eloped earlier also with a girl who had died in mysterious circumstances after giving birth to two children.
The court sentenced Raju, saying that it is a matter of "national concern" that cases of allurement and elopement of young girls and their sexual exploitation are at rise.
"Of late, instances of young girls of impressionable age being allured and sexually exploited thereafter are on rise and this is a matter of national concern," the court said.
As per prosecution, Raju was living near the victim`s house at Nithari village in North West Delhi and was working as a mason here.
He began courting her since September last year, writing letters to her to say he was in love with her, the police said, adding he allured the girl to accompany him.
Raju took the girl to the railway station here and they went to Ballia where he asked her to dress up like his wife and resided there for nearly six months, it said.
The girl was later recovered by the police after one of her neighbour came to know that the accused had kidnapped her and brought her there.
During the trial, the girl told the court that Raju used to threaten her that he would give her poison if she disclosed the truth to her family members with whom she used to talk on phone.
She told the court that Raju had repeatedly raped her and she was pregnant when she was recovered by the police.
During the arguments on sentence, the 25-year-old convict had sought leniency from the court saying he has to support his family.
The court, however, refused to show leniency to him saying though the girl had eloped with him on her own, the law "protects the minors and her consent is inconsequential".