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Amboli murder trial to begin in November

A year after the murder of Keenan Santos, 24, and Reuben Fernandes, 29, a fast-track court on Tuesday framed charges against the four accused of killing the duo and molesting the girls accompanying them.

mumbai Updated: Oct 24, 2012 01:38 IST
HT Correspondent

A year after the murder of Keenan Santos, 24, and Reuben Fernandes, 29, a fast-track court on Tuesday framed charges against the four accused of killing the duo and molesting the girls accompanying them.

The fast-track court at Sewri framed charges against Jitendra Rana, Sunil Bodh, Satish Dulhaj and Dipak Tival for murder, conspiracy to murder and for molesting the girls who had accompanied the two victims.

The accused have pleaded not guilty to the charges, which compels the court to try them. The trial against them is expected to begin in the first week of November.

"We filed draft charges earlier last month. As per the charges pressed, the four first passed lewd comments at the girls. The two boys objected to the harassment and got into a scuffle with the accused. Soon after, the accused returned with more men and killed the boys," said Ujjwal Nikam, special public prosecutor.

Nikam said the prosecution had proposed that the accused be tried for murder, conspiracy to murder and molestation. "The court has accepted the draft charges and the trial will start soon," he said.

On October 20, 2011, Keenan and Reuben were attacked outside a popular eatery in Amboli, Andheri (west), after they tried to shield their women friends from men who were trying to harass them.

The men retreated, only to return with over a dozen others and attacked Keenan and Reuben. While Keenan died on the same day, Reuben succumbed to multiple stab injuries on October 31.

The police arrested Rana, Bodh and Dulhaj a day after the incident; Tival was arrested two days later.

In January this year, three months after their arrest, the Amboli police filed a charge sheet against all four

accused. The case was transferred to a fast-track court at Sewri in March to appease the public, which had reacted strongly to the brutal murders.