Kerala Dalit law student’s rape-murder: Convict Ameer ul Islam sentenced to death
A local court in Kerala’s Ernakulam on Thursday sentenced a migrant worker from Assam to death for raping and killing a 29-year-old Dalit woman, a brutal crime that triggered widespread protests in the state.
The trial court said while delivering the verdict that it was one of the rarest of the rare cases and Ameer ul Islam never deserved any sympathy. It observed that the accused did not show any remorse after committing the heinous crime and he was a big threat to society.
He was found guilty by the court on Tuesday.
Islam was also sentenced to 14 years in jail and fined of Rs 5 lakh under various sections of the Indian Penal Code. A translator informed him about the details of the verdict and he heard it without any expression.
The mother of the victim said she was happy with the verdict.
“No other girl should undergo such a fate. Such heavy punishment will act as a strong deterrent in curbing mounting crime against women,” she said.
The special investigation team head BS Sandhya, ADGP, said she was also happy that the convict got maximum punishment.
The woman, a Dalit law student from Perumbavur near Kochi, was found murdered in her one-room house on April 28, 2016. The police arrested Islam after groping in the dark for two months.
The trial in the case started in April 2017 and was completed in eight months. As many as 100 witnesses were heard and 291 documents and DNA test reports were presented during the trial.
The prosecution mainly relied on scientific and circumstantial evidence to crack the case in the absence of direct evidence. The investigation team succeeded in recovering the accused’s DNA from the nail clipping of the woman beside bloodstain and saliva found in her clothes she wore on the day she was raped.
The team also managed to retrieve Islam’s DNA from a pair of slippers he left behind after committing the crime.
While delivering the verdict the court also lauded the scientific investigation carried out by the special investigation team.
“The DNA technology and call data records helped to establish the identity of the accused beyond any reasonable doubt,” special judge N Anil Kumar observed in his judgment.
Islam, hailing from Nagaon district of Assam, worked for almost eight years in different parts of the southern state as a labourer. He was living in a small house at least 500 metres away from the woman’s house when he committed the crime.
The prosecution said he stalked her on several occasions and entered her house after ensuring that she was alone at home.
Her mother, a casual labourer, found her dead and disembowelled in her house with more than 30 stab wounds.
The brutality brought back memories of the December 16, 2012, gangrape in Delhi that is regarded as a tipping point for the country’s tolerance of sexual crimes. Like the Delhi case, thousands took to the streets in anger in Kerala after the murder.