23 days after man rapes and kills 4-month-old, Indore court awards him with death

Indore: The Indore district court, on Saturday, awarded the death penalty to a 26-year-old man who raped and murdered a four-month-old girl, while likening him to ‘gangrene’ in society. Perhaps, this was the fastest trial in Indore, in which the verdict was delivered within just 23 days of the incident.

Sentencing accused Naveen Gadke to death, additional sessions judge Varsha Sharma, in her 51-page verdict, said, “Given the heinous and gruesome manner in which the accused carried out the cruel act, this person is like gangrene in society. And, just as doctors cut off gangrene-affected parts from a patient’s body through operation, it is also necessary to get rid of such criminals to protect society from them. Such a person is deadly for society.”

Naveen Gadke (R) in police custody.

Gadke was sentenced to death under Section 376(A) (death due to injuries during rape), introduced under the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013, and Section 302 (murder) of the IPC. He was also found guilty under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

The gruesome case 

  • While the 4-month-old infant was sleeping with her parents near Rajwada, in Indore, the accused abducted her in the wee hours of April 20 & raped her before killing her
  • On the basis of CCTV footage, cops managed to establish the identity of the accused & arrested him from his native place

What the police said 

Gadke, whose wife had left him, had gone to the victim’s mother on the night of April 19, asking her to intervene in their marital dispute. The woman refused & he went away He returned in the wee hours of the same night & abducted the sleeping child, carrying her on his shoulders so as not to arouse the suspicion of passersby Gadke banged baby’s head on the ground to kill her

Probe over in 7 days 

  • District prosecution officer Akram Sheikh said the special investigation team of the police completed the investigation within 7 days of the crime & filed a charge sheet on April 27
  • The charges were framed on April 28 & the case was heard on a daily basis from May 1
  • The prosecution examined 29 witnesses, including the accused’s estranged wife, to establish his guilt
  • Sheikh said Gadke was a distant relative of the victim’s mother, who sold balloons & camped outside Rajwada building
  • He took her to the basement of a building 50 m away from where her family was sleeping & raped her, when she started howling
  • The body was found on April 20
  • Gadke was arrested soon after