A local court presided over by additional sessions judge convicted two men, Rajdev alias Raju and Manoj Sahni, both of Champaran, Bihar, on Friday on charges of murdering a woman and sentenced both to life imprisonment and a fine of Rs 5,000, in default of payment of which they would have to serve another six months in jail.
The two were also charged with committing an offence under section 201/34 of the Indian Penal Code and were sentenced to five years' rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs 3,000, in default of payment of which they would have to serve another three months in prison. 31 witnesses for the prosecution and one defense witness were examined during the trial.
According to the deputy district attorney, the head of the Kripalpur gram panchayat notified the Nalagarh police on March 23, 2011 that an unidentified body of a woman was lying in Gol Tibbi Dadi Bhola forest. A police squad was then dispatched to the scene where it found the body with a cellphone and a pair of a child's bathroom slippers lying nearby. After a postmortem conducted on the body it was handed over to a panchayat official for cremating it.
During investigations the identity of the mobile phone's purchaser was established as that of Pawan Kumar, an employee of a firm in Barotiwala, Hem Kunth Private Ltd.
After questioning Pawan, Krishan Kumar and Balwant Paswan, who also worked for the same company, said the mobile phone was being used by Rajdev and on seeing the photographs of deceased they identified the deceased as the latter's wife.
They said Rajdev was working as a crane operator but remained absent from duty after the crime. They added Jeevan Shah, a close friend of Rajdev, identified the deceased was Tara Matti who lived with her husband, son Aman and brother-in-law Manoj Sahni in a rented room of Tara Chand in Damuwala village.
The two suspects were later were located in Karnataka through the cell tower location of their mobile. A police squad from Nalagarh left to Karnataka and both men were tracked down in Mandaya district in Karnataka where they were working in a rice mill.
The suspects were arrested and on inquiry it was found that accused Raj Dev was having estranged relations with his wife as he was suspecting her character and also had a quarrel with her on March 23, 2011. After this, Rajdev, Sahni, Aman and Tara Matti had gone to a temple in the forest where Tara was attacked with stone on her head resulting her death.