Man gets death penalty for rape, murder of Mumbai physiotherapist
In the intervening night of December 5 and 6, 2016, the convict Debasis Dhara, who worked as a goldsmith in a factory near the victim’s Vile Parle residence, broke into her room. He then strangled, raped and murdered her.Updated: Oct 05, 2019 08:25 IST
The Dindoshi sessions court on Friday awarded the death penalty to Debasis Dhara, 29, who was found guilty of breaking into the Vile Parle home of a physiotherapist, strangling her with a pair of jeans, raping and murdering her, and then setting the body on fire. The court categorised the crime as the ‘rarest of rare’ and said it “demonstrated exceptional depravity in the mind of the convict”.
On September 24, additional sessions judge Abhishri Dnyaneshwar Deo had found Dhara guilty of multiple charges including murder, rape, unnatural sex and trespassing. Deo heard arguments on Friday from both defence and prosecution on the quantum of sentence. Special public prosecutor Raja Thakare sought the death penalty, stating Dhara had showed no remorse for his perverse actions.
In the intervening night of December 5 and 6, 2016, Dhara, who worked as a goldsmith in a factory near the victim’s Vile Parle residence, broke into her room. He then strangled, raped and murdered her. To destroy evidence, he covered her body with books and clothes, and set them fire. The victim was a physiotherapist who worked in a private hospital. Around 3.30am, a neighbour noticed smoke coming out of the physiotherapist’s apartment. The physiotherapist’s father and neighbour found her and took her to a hospital, where she was declared dead on arrival. It was also confirmed that she had been raped.
Dhara was arrested in February 2017, in West Bengal. He had initially claimed he was being framed, but the prosecution was able to show DNA evidence and CCTV footage incriminating Dhara. On Friday, Dhara pleaded for leniency.
However, the court refused to accept Dhara’s plea and said that he had “inflicted inhuman torture” upon the physiotherapist and that his actions exhibited “extreme mental perversion not worthy of human condonation”. Awarding Dhara death penalty on two counts of rape and murder, as well as life imprisonment for other offences, Deo said, “This unprovoked crime demonstrated exceptional depravity in the mind of the convict.” The court also recommended that the state award compensation to the physiotherapist’s family under the Manodhairya scheme.
The physiotherapist’s family expressed relief at the judgement.
“He should also be made to suffer the way he tortured my daughter. She was innocent. After two months of her death, we got a letter certifying her as doctor. This left us shattered,” said her mother.
First Published: Oct 05, 2019 00:33 IST