Guilty of killing Australia-born six-year-old Mehram Sandhu for “easy money”, cabbie Tejinder Singh, alias Ganju (26), will spend rest of his life in jail. “Jado tak tu marega nahi tu jail ch rahega (till the time you are alive, you will remain in jail),” said additional district and sessions judge Tarsem Mangla on Wednesday, while awarding life term to convict Ganju.
Turning down the plea of the prosecution seeking death penalty, the court said, “No doubt convict has committed the offence that was most unexpected of him. He destroyed every hope of Harinder Kaur (Mehram’s mother) as she had already suffered in her matrimony. He killed a hapless child after kidnapping him, but at the same time the facts and circumstances leading to his kidnapping and killing do not make out as if the offence was committed in gruesome manner.”
The court also imposed a fine of Rs 17,000 on the convict, who stood remorseless as the court pronounced the quantum of sentence and ruled, “after kidnapping he strangulated the child and to make the evidence disappear he buried the body in a pit at an uninhabited place.”
What nailed Ganju
In his extra judicial statement, Ganju had told Joginder Singh, a Phase 9 resident, that “when he (Ganju) came to know that a missing report of the child had been lodged, he got frightened. Out of fear, he strangulated the child using a piece of cloth after taking him in near an open ground in front of a gurdwara in Sector 69 SAS Nagar. As a result of which, the child died. He hid his body underneath the vegetation and again visited that site after a few days, dug a pit and dumped the body by covering it with earth”.
This statement was corroborated by a shopkeeper, Kewal Krishan, from whose shop Ganju had bought chocolates, and municipal councillor Rajinder Parshad, who had seen Mehram on scooter with Ganju.
It was the hair strands found on the shovel used by Ganju to bury the child’s body that helped nail him. The DNA report confirming that the hair stands found on the shovel matched with those found from Mehram’s body also strengthened the police case.
‘Cops failed to preserve crime scene’
The court pointed out “instead of preserving the scene of crime, Inspector Kulbir Singh did not prevent the public from trampling it. He did not collect any fingerprints or footprints from the site.”
Mehram’s family stayed away from court
Mehram’s family stayed away from attending the court proceeding and had gone to gurdwara to pay obeisance. Mehram’s family for last more than one year have been attending each and every hearing but did not turn up to witness Ganju convicted.
Ganju’s family claims false implication, to move HC
“My son was falsely implicated in the case. I will appeal against the order in the high court,” said Sher Singh, Ganju’s father, who was present in the court.