A youth was sentenced to five years of rigorous imprisonment by a city court for sexually assaulting a minor girl outside her home. He has also been fined rupees 50,000 failing to pay which he will have to undergo another six months of imprisonment.

Police said that the convict, Md. Mustakin alias Mastan, had assaulted the sevenyear- old girl on the night of 15 October when the victim was sleeping on the pavement just outside her shanty on Canal West Road. While her father was sleeping inside the room with her other siblings, the girl came out and fell asleep beside her elder brother.

Her pregnant mother was admitted to a hospital then. Mustakin, who had been sleeping close to the pavement, noticed her. At around 3 a.m. he abducted the girl and took her under a tree. The girl screamed out in fear while she was being assaulted. Alerted by her cries for help, a neighbour rushed to the spot after which Mustakin immediately fled from there.

Later, her family members lodged a complaint at the Ultadanga police station and a case was registered under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO). The accused was arrested within days and a chargesheet was submitted against him in less than two months.