Two men in the north Indian city of Chandigarh have been given life sentence for raping their minor niece. The 10-year-old girl, who had reportedly been raped over a period of several months, had given birth to a baby girl in August.
The victim's uncles were sentenced after their conviction on Tuesday (31 October).
The sentencing comes almost a month after a DNA test on the baby confirmed that the second uncle was the father of the child. The 41-year-old is the younger brother of the man, who was earlier arrested and charged for raping the minor girl multiple times.
Both the men lived in Chandigarh city and reportedly took turns to rape the daughter of their cousin sister. The older uncle's trial took a month, while the younger uncle was convicted in a remarkable 18-day trial, The BBC reported.
The harrowing rape case of the 10-year-old had made headlines for weeks nationally and internationally.
The girl was found to be over 30 weeks pregnant in mid-July after she complained of a stomach ache. Her parents pleaded for an abortion, which was denied by a local court.
The minor's family then moved to the Supreme Court of India, but due to its tough law on abortion, she was denied permission. Under India's abortion law, a mother can't terminate the foetus after 20 weeks of pregnancy unless doctors certify that the former's life is in danger. On 17 August, the girl delivered a premature baby.
In her initial statement, the girl told police that she had been raped several times in the past by the older uncle. The fact that the child's second uncle had also been repeatedly raping her came to light only when the police began looking for more suspects after DNA test results revealed that the arrested uncle was not the baby's father.
The child later testified against the second man and told authorities that her "younger mama (maternal uncle)" also used to rape her.