3 get death for rape-murder of 15-year-old in Maharashtra
Nov 30 2017
The body of a 15-year-old student was found on July 13 in Kopardi village of Ahmednagar district.
Jitendra Babulal Shinde, Santosh Gorakh Bhawal and Nitin Gopinath Bhailume Maharashtra were sentenced to death for raping and murdering a 15-year-old girl in Kopardi village in 2016. The three were convicted of rape, murder and criminal conspiracy November 18. The incident turned out to be the trigger for silent marches by Marathas across the state as the victim belonged to the community, while the convicts are Dalits.
When police recovered the body of the victim, it showed signs of brutal assault with her limbs broken, hair pulled out, and bite marks all over her body. Ahmednagar District and Sessions Judge Suvarna Keole, who found the three guilty on November 18, pronounced the verdict under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
As the special judge entered the court around 11.23 a.m., the convicted three - Shinde, Bhawal, and Bhailume - were brought before her by police escorts. Following the protests, the state government appointed noted criminal lawyer Nikam, who has appeared in several high-profile cases including the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack, as the special public prosecutor in the case.
It also left strong political ripples, with the Opposition Congress and the NCP demanding the resignation of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on moral grounds. Soon after the court read out the sentence, all of them welcomed the verdict. "Two days before the incident, the victim was molested by the accused".
On Saturday, three accused of this case have been convicted.
A special court will pronounce its verdict on the culprits of Maharashtra's famous Kopardi rape and murder. While passing the judgment, the court called them all in front of the dais and explained to them their conviction clauses, saying that the death sentences are subject to confirmation by the Bombay High Court.
► Life imprisonment and Rs 20,000 fine for sections 120B and 376 (i)(m) of IPC. During the trial, the prosecution examined 31 witnesses and argued there were 24 types of evidence against the three. All jail sentences would run concurrently.