All three convicts in the Kopardi rape and murder case, which shook Maharashtra in July past year and triggered an agitation by members of the Maratha community, were given the death sentence by a fast-track court here on Wednesday. They were held guilty of rape, murder and conspiracy besides other charges, said special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam.
Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said the punishment would send a strong message to "all those elements in the society who think up such heinous crimes against women". The crime took place on July 13, 2016, when the 15-year-old, a class 9 student was out to fetch spices from her grandmother's home in the same village, was gang-raped, mutilated and killed. The accused had inflicted injuries all over her body and broken her limbs before throttling her, police said.
The incident turned out to be the trigger for silent marches or mook morcha by Marathas across the length and breadth of the state by the Maratha community demanding quick investigation and speedy trial in the case. "The revenue department shall recover the fine amount from the accused", said the sessions court while delivering the judgment. 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.More news: Harvey Weinstein & TWC Hit With Claims Of Sex Trafficking At Cannes 2014
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Nikam had earlier told the court that four to five days before the incident, the accused had stopped the girl and tried to molest her. Three accused of this case have been convicted. All three were charged under Section 302 of IPC and 376 of the IPC and related sections of the Poxo law. This is the first case in the state in which the accused have been given the death penalty. Reportedly, none of the defense lawyers were there, while special prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam was present in the court.
The judge has allowed the convicts to appeal before the Bombay High Court.
However, Court has finally done the justice by awarding death sentence to three convicts of Kopardi rape and murder case including Nitin Bhailume. These sentences are to run concurrently with the substantive sentence.