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Siliguri: Nearly a year-and-a-half since two Adivasi teenage girls were abducted and raped at Raiganj in North Dinajpur leading to a massive outburst by the community, a court today sentenced all nine convicted in the case to rigorous imprisonment.

The additional district judge at Raiganj court, Salim Shahi, pronounced the sentence under the provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012.

Of the nine convicts, Nabin Sil and, Siddartha Prasad Nunia have been jailed for 20 years, Panna Sarkar for 10 years, Utpal Chaki, Bappa Paswan and, Munna Roy for five years, Chandan Dutta, Jayanta Dutta and, Bijay Das for one year.

Since the last three convicts have already spent over a year in jail in the trial period itself, they, however, were released today.

On 9 July 2017, the gang of youths had accosted two teenage Adivasi girls aged around 14 and 12 years at the Raiganj Municipal Bus Stand. The two girls were then taken to a nearby hotel raped by the youths.

As two other young Adivasi girls waiting for a bus got a wind of this, the group of youths fled with the two teenage girls. Police rescued them from Malda three days later.

Outraged by this, the Adivasis in thousands took out a protest rally in Raiganj town on 14 July and subsequently went on a rampage by burning down motorcycles, shops, and a Trinamool party office.

Under pressure, police swung into action and arrested all the nine accused within the next few days and fast-tracked the investigation. Due to prompt investigation, the trial has now led to the conviction and punishment of the accused.

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