Hyderabad: The First Additional sessions court in Adilabad district of Telangana, pronounced ‘death sentence’ to the three accused in the gang-rape and murder of the 31- year-old Dalit women hawker, who was later re-named as Samatha.

This is the second time a fast track court set up exclusively for rape cases in Telangana, has sentenced the accused to capital punishment. The first was pronounced against convict K Praveen, who was found guilty in the rape of 9-month-old infant that shattered the Warangal district.

However, what makes this judgement against Samatha’s killers stand apart, is the observation made by the first additional session’s court judge, M G Priyadarshini. Similar to that of the 2016 Delhi gang-rape, this case has been termed as ‘rarest of rare cases’.

The court observed the victim’s soul would attain peace only when her killers will be hanged. The concluding points of the judgement had an emotion touch to it. It read, ‘Considering all the above facts, circumstances and the ghastly nature of offense and above all the ‘heinous attitude’ of the accused, this court feels that if a capital punishment of death is imposed against the trio (referring to the accused ), not only the ends of justice would meet, but at the same time the soul of deceased may also rest in peace’. The court felt that the accused do not ‘deserve any mercy’, were the concluding points.

The trio were convicted under section 302 r/w 34 IPC and r/w section 3 (2) (v) of SC/ST (POA) Amendment Act 2015. The judgement comes after 67 days into the investigation and trial.

What happened on November 24

Belonging to Lingapur Mandal, Ellapatar village of Asifabad, like any other usual day Samatha was on her way to work. Her husband reportedly dropped the victim at around 7:00 am on a bike.

The lady used to sell utensils and balloons at Ellapatar and would return home early afternoon. However, on November 24th, the victim’s husband on returning home found her missing while her phone was found switched off.

The family began searching for her duly informed the police. Later, the man complained to Lingapur police station.

Police registered a case and began a robust search. Over 24 hours, the cops found her body in a pool of blood in the bushes on the way to Ellapataar Village at around 9:00 am on November 25. The victim’s family identified the body.

Taking cue of the number of people missing, the police took into custody three people near Adilabad X road. The latter was identified as Shaik Babu (35), Shaik Shaboddin(30) and Shaikh Makdum (40).

On further investigation, the accused confessed that they saw the woman coming alone in Ellapatar and midway took her to the bushes forcefully and raped her. They further slit her throat and murdered her.

Coreena Suares

Coreena Enet Suares is the Editor of NewsMeter. Her stories have been published in the Deccan Chronicle Newspaper and the Asian Age. Coreena began her career as a News Anchor. Throughout her journey, she has been able to build a strong network with people from all walks of life. She is an alumnus of Edward R. Murrow Program for Journalists- Research and Investigation, a flagship initiative of the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP)

Coreena is also a certified fact-checker by Google India Initiative. She has attended the 'Defence Correspondents Course 2019, through which she visited Indo- Pak border, besides traveling on a War-ship and insight into operations of Fighter aircraft. Coreena's focus areas are anti-crime investigation agencies and Defence reporting.

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