Two youths were today sentenced to death by a local court for kidnapping and brutally murdering an eight-year-old boy in 2014.
Principal District and Sessions Judge Kishore Sonowane awarded the punishment to Rajesh Dhanalal Daware (21) and his friend Arvind Abhilash Singh (25) for killing Yug Chandak.
Convicting them under IPC sections 364 (a) (kidnapping for ransom) and 302 (murder), the judge said it was an act of vengeance and stemmed from their dream of minting money.
In a packed courtroom where both the convicts and the child’s father were present, Judge Sonowane observed that though the accused were young, they deserve no leniency or mercy, and found them guilty of the brutal killing of the Class II student in September 2014.
The judge observed that as per High Court and Supreme Court guidelines to deal with kidnapping and killing of children, the court was satisfied with the evidences and motive of both the accused for killing the child.
The judge then ordered them to be hanged till death.
He also awarded life imprisonment to the two youths and imposed a penalty of Rs 10,000 for conspiracy, and also sentenced them to another seven years’ imprisonment along with Rs 5,000 fine for destroying evidences.
The judge observed that both the youths had kidnapped Yug as they wanted to become rich by demanding ransom, and in the process killed the innocent child in a brutal manner and hit his face with stones to destroy evidence, and also buried the body.
The perpetrators, both B Com students from a college at Kamptee Road, were convicted under sections 302 (murder), 364-A (kidnapping for ransom), 201 (destruction of evidence), and 120-B (criminal conspiracy).
Daware’s 17-year-old younger brother, who assisted them in the conspiracy, has already been referred to a juvenile remand home.
About 26 injuries were found on Yug’s body, including those on the neck.
None of the 50 witnesses examined by the prosecution turned hostile, as per Additional Public Prosecutor Jyoti Vajani, Chandak family’s counsel Rajendra Daga and Investigation Officer (IO) from Lakadganj Police Station, Satyanarayan Jaiswal.
According to them, they brought to fore as many as 20 circumstances to prove complicity of the accused in the crime.
With a view to take revenge from Dr Mukesh Chandak, who
runs a nursing home in eastern part of city, for what Daware claimed as humiliation meted out to him by the doctor and extract ransom, the accused hatched the conspiracy to kidnap and kill Yug.
The duo executed their plan and brutally killed the child by strangulating him on September 1, 2014.
They later buried the body in sand under pipes near a culvert on the desolate Gumthi-Gumthala Road near Patansawangi village, about 27 kms from Nagpur.
The duo had planned their escape after receiving money, but were arrested the next day after Chandak’s family raised suspicion on Daware.
During interrogation, both the accused confessed to have killed the boy and led the investigators to the spot where they had buried the child’s body.
The incident rattled Nagpur residents and many of them joined hands to condole Yug’s death. Candle marches were taken out in support of the Chandak family and demand was raised for death sentence to the perpetrators of the innocent child’s killing.
The court relied on a number of factors, apart from strong testimony of 50 witnesses to nail the culprits.
It included CCTV footage at a petrol pump where the accused filled up their bike tank after kidnapping the child, last seen theory of many witnesses, recovery of child’s clothes from the spot shown by accused and Yug’s earring which was traced to Arvind Singh’s home.
Even the call details records and, more importantly, the testimony of Daware’s girlfriend went against them.
Two school students from Patansawangi village, who saw the duo taking Yug on their bikes, were also made witnesses by the prosecution after requesting their parents.
According to police, Daware was familiar with the place where the body was buried as often used to take a break at the spot with his girlfriend while returning from a religious place.
The prosecution lawyers had earlier cited three landmark Supreme Court verdicts to press for death penalty to the accused, while terming the case as “rarest of rare” with no signs of reformation of the two accused.
( Source – PTI )