Akola: A 47-year-old man has been sentenced to 10 years of rigorous imprisonment by a local court for raping his minor niece 18 years ago. Suresh Atote was pronounced guilty by Additional Sessions Judge DM Deshmukh, who awarded the jail term to the convict on Thursday. The Judge did not accept Atote's defence that he was with his friend Ramlakhan Shukla, who deposed in the court, when the crime took place in 1995.
Atote, who is maternal uncle of the girl, then nine-year-old, resided with her family in village Sangapur-Hirpur in Murtizapur taluka of this district in Vidarbha. On October 12, 1995, Atote took the girl out of the house on the pretext of buying her a chocolate. He later took the girl in a nearby jungle and sexually abused her.
Atote left the village and started working as a security guard in Aurangabad under a different name. In the meantime, based on the girl's statement one Gajanan Pawar was arrested by the police in connection with the incident. He was let off by the court after it emerged that it was the minor's maternal uncle who had committed the crime. Atote was arrested from Aurangabad three years ago.