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10-year-old’s sketches send rapist uncle to five years in jail

NEW DELHI: Proving that a girl had been raped by her uncle, two years after the crime, would have been very difficult, but a Delhi trial court relied on the child’s crayon sketches to convict the accused and award him five years in jail.

The girl, who is 10 now and studies in a school, belongs to a broken family in Kolkata, but she suffered the most as an eight-year-old while staying with her aunt in Delhi. Her uncle, Akhter Ahmed, allegedly sexually assaulted her several times before she fled.

He was arrested last June, but his lawyer argued that the girl had been tutored to accuse him of rape and could not be considered a ‘competent witness’. The case turned unexpectedly when the girl, given paper and crayons to keep her occupied during the hearing, sketched an abandoned house, a girl holding balloons attached to entwined strings, and a dress lying beside her. She filled the drawings with ‘gloomy’ colours. Additional sessions judge Vinod Yadav regarded the sketches as the child’s impression of her ordeal.

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