The father of Keenan Santos, one of the two men who was killed while trying to save their women friends from harassment, said on Thursday that justice was delivered after a Mumbai court sentenced to life the four people charged in the case.
Valerian Santos (57) expressed “satisfaction” over the verdict and said the two victims had been finally meted out justice.
“However, this is just the beginning... The battle is not over, they might appeal in the higher courts and we have to wait,” Santos said shortly after the verdict.
A special women’s court in Mumbai, on Thursday, sentenced to life imprisonment the four people charged with killing two men who had tried to prevent the molestation of their women friends five years ago, a legal official said.
The convicts - Jitendra Rana, Sunil Bodh, Satish Dulgaj and Dipak Tival - had attacked Keenan Santos, 24, and his friend Rueben Fernandes, 29, on the night of October 20, 2011 after they tried to harass their woman friends outside a restaurant in Andheri.
Special judge Vrushali Joshi pronounced the sentence in the presence of family members of the accused, kin of the victims and mediapersons covering the trial for the past five years.
Special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam said he had not sought death penalty for the accused since it was not the “rarest of rare cases” and neither a “conspiracy” or “pre-planned” murders.
Former Maharashtra chief minister, Prithviraj Chavan, expressed happiness that “justice has been done in the case” and sought more stringent action in such cases involving crimes against women.
The incident took place happened outside the Amboli Bar and Kitchen after Keenan, Rueben and their two women friends had stepped out after dinner.
As they chatted outside the restaurant, one of the accused, Jitendra Rana, started misbehaving and sexually harassing one of the two women. The two friends then chased Rana away.
Enraged by this, Rana went away after threatening them and returned a short while later with three people armed with sticks and choppers.
They brutally attacked Keenan and Reuben while the women screamed for help.
A grievously injured Keenan succumbed to his injuries a few hours later while Reuben died after nearly a fortnight while under treatment at a hospital.