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Assam: Zakir Hussain convicted of raping a 13 year old girl and murdering her by setting her ablaze

A session court in Assam today convicted main accused Zakir Hussain of the horrific crime of rape and murder of a 13-year-old girl in Batadrawa in Nagaon district of Assam.

In a crime that shook the entire state of Assam, the class 5 student girl was gang-raped and then set on fire on 23rd March this year. The crime was done at the victim’s house where she was alone after returning from school. Zakir Hussain and two other persons barged into the house, raped her and then set her ablaze by pouring kerosene on her.

When family members saw smoke coming out of the roof they rushed to the house to find the girl in a critical condition. She was immediately rushed to the hospital and admitted with 90 percent burn injury, from where she was sent to Guwahati Medical College and Hospital. Before succumbing to injuries, she had given a dying declaration to police identifying the three criminals, based on which police nabbed Zakir and another juvenile, while the third was absconding.

All three accused studied in the same school as the victim and they were known acquaintances of the victim.

After the wide publicity and outrage the case had generated, police went into overdrive mode in the investigation of the case, and the charge-sheet was filed in just a month. Zakir and the others were charged with rape and murder, while five others Abdul Rajek, Zubeda Khatun, Muklesur Rahman, Abdul Rashid and Fakruddin where charged under relevant sections of IPC for harbouring the offenders and destructing evidence.

After this incident, Gauhati High Court had approved a state government proposal for setting up exclusive fast-track courts for trial of cases related to rape and murder of women and children in Assam.

After a fast-track trial, the Nagaon session court pronounced the verdict today, convicting Zakir Hussain. The Quantum of punishment will be announced on September 7. The court acquitted the others accused in the case for lack of enough evidence.

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