A teenager has been sentenced to death for raping a seven-month-old girl after he snatched from her home.
The 19-year-old rapist, named by Indian media as Pintu, kidnapped the sleeping toddler while she was being looked after by her partially-blind grandmother, according to reports.
After stealing her away from her home in Rajasthan, Pintu raped the girl in a school building.
Indian activists protest after a rape case in Uttar Pradesh state that allegedly involved a lawmaker from the ruling party
Rescuers later found the girl crying in a field, and a medical examination confirmed she had been raped, the Times of India reports.
Pintu is the first defendant to face the death penalty after a new law was passed in the state of Rajasthan, where the sickening attack happened on May 9.
The law introduced capital punishment for people who rape children under 12, and was introduced in the state in March this year.
India has a grim record of sexual violence, with nearly 40,000 rape cases reported countrywide in 2016
Pintu was found guilty after a 30 day trial earlier this month, reports the Hindustan Times.
Following the sentence, state women’s commission chairwoman Suman Sharma told the newspaper that it “will set a precedent” and “will bring relief to mothers who worry about the safety of their daughters”.
Special public prosecutor Kuldeep Jain told the Times of India: “This is the first time in the state that the accused has been convicted within such a short time.”
An epidemic of rape and violence against women in India was internationally exposed when Jyoti Sign Pandey, 23, died after being raped and mutilated on a bus in the Indian capital of New Delhi.
Her death sparked mass protests across the country, and an Indian court upheld the death penalty against three of her attackers earlier this month.
Officials in the country have since faced harsh criticism for their apparent inability to deal with the issue.
Ten schoolboys gang-raped a Year 10 girl until she passed out in the latest horrific sex attack in India. Police say she was attacked on her way home in the West Champaran district of Bihar, north eastern India (file picture)
Many campaigners believe that little has changed and that the harsher penalties are still failing to deter the rape, abuse and murder of some of the most vulnerable of society.
Nearly 40,000 rape cases were reported countrywide in 2016.
But campaigners say the true figure is likely to be much higher given the social stigma around victims of sexual crimes.
In the last week alone ten schoolboys gang-raped a year 10 girl until she passed out and an eight -year-old girl was raped by five boys as young as nine after they watched porn on a mobile phone.
Indian police also arrested two men on Monday, July 16, over the gang rape and burning to death of a woman by five members of her family.