A Kolkata court on Saturday sentenced three people to death and three others to life in prison for gangraping and murdering a woman at Kamduni village in West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas district in 2013.
Additional district and sessions judge Sanchita Sarkar sentenced Ansar Ali Mollah, Saiful Ali and Amin Ali to death and awarded life imprisonment to Bhola Naskar, Imanul Islam and Aminur Islam.
A court on Thursday had found six of the eight accused men guilty of gangraping and murdering the woman. Two accused, named in the charge sheet, were acquited and one died in the course of the trial.
Friends and family members of the victim, who had been demanding capital punishment for all eight persons named in the charge sheet, were disheartened with the quantum of sentence and said they would move the high court against the verdict. Some of them broke down into tears.
“We would move the Calcutta high court against this verdict. We want capital punishment for all the eight,” the victim’s brother said.
The 20-year-old woman was attacked while she was returning home from college on June 7, 2013. The second-year BA student was forcibly taken inside a factory where she was gangraped and then brutally murdered, sparking widespread outrage across the country.
Her disfigured body, with injury marks all over, was discovered the next morning in a field behind the factory.
The court arena was teeming with people including friends, family members of the victim and Kamduni villagers. Security was tightened and a large contingent of police was deployed. The hearing that started around 11am went on for more than an hour.
The announcement of the sentence was withheld on Friday after the defense counsel argued against a possible death sentence to some of those found guilty claiming that earlier cases of more gruesome incidents invited lesser sentences.
The prosecutor, however, tried to prove it as a ‘rarest of the rare case’ as the victim was raped after she was hit and made unconscious. When she regained consciousness she was again hit and raped, he said. Later she was murdered and her legs torn apart. Medical examination proved two major injuries in the victim’s private parts.
The incident had raised a storm in the state, with the villagers, many of them friends and relatives of the victim, floating a platform Kamduni Pratibadi Mancha and seeking speedy justice and capital punishment to the guilty.
The ruling Trinamool Congress and police had to face public ire right from the beginning. Chief minister Mamata Banerjee even dubbed the protesters Maoists during her first visit to the village 10 days after the incident.