Kopardi rape and murder case: Ahmednagar court awards death sentence to all three convicts

A court in Ahmednagar on Wednesday awarded the death sentence to three men found guilty of raping and murdering a 15-year-old girl in Maharashtra's Kopardi village in 2016.

The court had last week convicted the three men of raping and murdering the minor girl, an incident that had sparked a huge outcry across the state, especially from the Maratha community.

 Kopardi rape and murder case: Ahmednagar court awards death sentence to all three convicts

Representational image. CNN-News18

Jitendra Babulal Shinde, Santosh Gorakh Bhawal and Nitin Gopinath Bhailume were held guilty of rape, murder and criminal conspiracy.

Bhawal's lawyer Balasaheb Khopade had earlier asked the court not to award capital punishment to Bhawal.

However, special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam had argued that this was among "rarest of the rare" cases and hence, all three convicts should be awarded the death sentence.

"Since there was no eyewitness in the case, the entire case was based on circumstantial evidence. We succeeded in proving the chain of circumstances which led to the conviction of all the three people," PTI had quoted Nikam as saying last week.

The victim, who belonged to the Maratha community, was found murdered after being raped on 13 July, 2016, at Kopardi village in Ahmednagar district.

The incident also turned out to be the trigger for the silent marches (mook morcha) taken out by Marathas who wanted justice for the victim.

Marches, joined in by a large number of women, were taken out across the length and breadth of Maharashtra, with Marathas demanding a quick investigation and speedy trial.

It also left strong political ripples, with the Opposition Congress and the NCP demanding the resignation of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on moral grounds.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Nov 29, 2017 12:03:01 IST