The court upholds death for the three men who were convicted of raping and murdering a 15-year-old girl in Kopardi village in 2016, sparking a huge outcry across the state, especially from the Maratha community. The security was tightened around the court when the judge announced the quantum of sentence, calling the sensitivities of the communities of the victim and the convicts, and the violence that the caste divide triggered last week.
The gruesome crime had triggered protests previous year by members of the Maratha community, who staged silent marches across the state demanding justice for the victim.
A 15-year-old schoolgirl was brutally gangraped, mutilated and killed on July 13, 2016, at Kopardi village in Ahmednagar in Maharashtra.
The accused also inflicted injuries all over her body and broke her limbs before throttling her, police said.
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Taking exception to some portions of Sharma's petition, the court said it was "unwarranted and scurrilous". The first application has been returned to the makers of the movie because there were no disclaimers.
However, the case was registered under the sections of sections 302 (murder), 376 (rape) and relevant sections of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act of Indian Penal Code.
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.
Barring those directly concerned with the Kopardi case - special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam and his team of lawyers, the police brass including the case investigators, the family members of the victim and the court staffers - nobody else was permitted entry. "I am thankful to the government, police, judiciary and the entire Maratha community for coming together and fighting for my daughter", the girl's mother said. "The revenue department shall recover the fine amount from the accused", said the sessions court while delivering the judgment. "Two days before the incident, the victim was molested by the accused". The three convicts showed no reaction and stood motionless with their heads down. During the trial, the prosecution examined 31 witnesses and argued there were 24 types of evidence against the three.
Chief Minister Fadnavis, welcoming the verdict, said, "No one ever would dare to commit such a crime in this state anymore after this verdict". He said the case had shaken the whole of Maharashtra and that is why state Government engaged Advocate Ujjwal Nikam for fighting the case and he ensured the guilty are punished.