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The killer sisters of Kolhapur

india Updated: Dec 30, 2006 04:01 IST

On August 31, the Supreme Court rang down the curtain on one of the most horrifying cases of serial killings in the country. The court confirmed the death sentence of two women from Kolhapur for murdering 13 children, after first using them to commit theft and robbery.

Justice KG Balakrishnan and Justice G P Mathur upheld the judgment of the Bombay High Court concurring with the trial court awarding the death penalty to Renuka Bai and her sister.

Renuka Bai alias Rinku, her sister Seema and their mother Anjanabai committed a series of offences between 1990 and 1996 in Kolhapur. They would kidnap infants and children below five years and involve them in pick-pocketing and other petty offences.

The mother died during the trial. Of the 13 children the three women murdered, the police recovered bodies of seven.

The women committed their offences in Kolhapur, Nasik, Shirdi and Pune. The police booked them for 13 kidnappings and nine murders.

The trial court found them guilty in six cases and in the appeal the High Court upheld their conviction in five. Kiran Shinde, husband of Renuka Bai, had turned approver. Though he had suppressed some material facts, the high court said his evidence was fully corroborated by other evidence.