Kotkhai rape and murder case: Lone accused gets life imprisonment

Updated on Jun 18, 2021 06:47 PM IST

District and sessions judge, Shimla, Rajiv Bharadwaj, who is the special judge of the CBI court, also imposed a fine of ₹10,000 on the accused in the Kotkhai rape and murder case. In case of default in payment of the fine, the accused will have to undergo one year of imprisonment.

Charani Nilu, the accused in the Kotkhai rape and murder in Shimla being taken away by cops on Friday. (Deepak Sansta/HT)
Charani Nilu, the accused in the Kotkhai rape and murder in Shimla being taken away by cops on Friday. (Deepak Sansta/HT)
By, Shimla

A special court of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday sentenced the lone accused in the Kotkhai rape and murder case to life imprisonment.

The court had on April 28 held the accused Anil Kumar alias Nilu, a wood cutter, guilty of rape and murder of a minor girl and convicted him under Sections 376 (2) (i), 376 (A), and 302 of the Indian Penal Code and Section 4 of the POCSO Act.

District and sessions judge, Shimla, Rajiv Bharadwaj, who is the special judge of the CBI court, also imposed a fine of 10,000 on the accused. In case of default in payment of the fine, the accused will have to undergo one year of imprisonment.

The court said that out of the 14 crucial points of evidence produced by the CBI, twelve were found to be against the accused. The conviction was primarily based on DNA evidence.

DNA from blood samples of the accused matched with the semen found on the private parts and cloths of the victim. The soil samples matched the soil where the victim’s body was discovered two days after the crime was committed. The bite mark on victim’s body also matched his denture.

A total of fifty-nine witnesses deposed during the trial in the court.

In the chargesheet, the CBI said that on the day of the crime, Nillu consumed liquor in the afternoon and encountered the victim on a deserted route while she was returning home from school. He had an altercation with the victim, after which he dragged her into the adjoining forest and raped her. He later smothered and strangled her.

The CBI said that he left behind an empty liquor bottle at the crime scene, which has been identified by the seller.

Several people who saw him in the area before and after the crime or sold liquor to him on the day of the crime also identified him. One key witness was a widow whom he had assaulted days later.

The incident

A 16-year-old Class 10 student in Shimla’s Kotkhai area went missing while returning home amidst a sports tournament. Two days later, her naked body was found in a ditch in the forest, with her clothes. An autopsy confirmed that she was raped before murder. The SIT constituted by the state police initially arrested six people in the case.

Violent protests erupted in Kotkhai when one of the six suspects arrested by the state police, Suraj Kumar, died in custody, allegedly after he was severely beaten. As protests intensified, the high court handed over the case to the CBI. The central investigation agency, CBI, had arrested a 25-year-old lumberjack on April 14, 2018, exonerating six people arrested by Himachal Pradesh Police in the case.

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