Two men, who had abducted a seven-year-old boy and killed him in September 2004, have been given death sentence by a Ghaziabad court.
Dhananjaya Joshi (7), a Class III student, was kidnapped by his domestic help Vishal Parmanand.
The help and his two accomplices had demanded ransom for the minor's release.
But later they killed him and dumped his body at the Muradnagar canal in Ghaziabad.
Coincidentally, the court's order came on the birthday of the murdered DLF Public School student even though proceedings were marred by the three-day strike called by western UP lawyers.
"It was an emotional setback for his parents. The law has done its part but our loss is irreparable. We even feel sad for the people who got the punishment," said Ram Avtar Joshi, Dhananjaya’s grandfather.
Joshi had attended the court proceedings from the very first day.
Bhupinder Singh, a lawyer whose child also studies at DLF Public School in Sahibabad, came forward and offered his legal services for free.
"The case was considered rarest of rare by the court as the servants who were entrusted with the child's care abducted him, taking advantage of his nearness," Singh said.
September 16, Dhananjaya's birthday, witnessed a strike by Western UP lawyers, demanding a high court bench, which hampered work in the court.
It was difficult for the two accused to be brought from Dasna Jail but with the interference of the District Judge, the police and administration, it was made possible.
“The accused were brought to the court against all odds. Initially, the hearing date was postponed for September 18. But by afternoon things changed and the two accused attended the court and were awarded death sentence,” a court staff said.
The third accused was awarded life sentence.