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3 sentenced to death for Telangana woman’s rape, murder

Hyderabad : Two months after gang-rape and murder of a woman in Telangana, a fast-track court on Thursday sentenced all the three accused to death.

After 45-day hearing, the court in Adilabad town pronounced the judgment in the gang-rape and murder case.

Public prosecutor M. Ramana Reddy said the court orders will be sent to the Telangana High Court for confirmation.

Sheikh Babu, Sheikh Shahabuddin and Sheikh Makhdoom broke down in the court hall as soon as the judge pronounced the judgment, awarding them the capital punishment.

A 30-year-old woman, who used to sell balloons and utensils, was sexually assaulted and killed by the three men on November 24 last year at Ellapatar village of Komaram Bheem Asifabad district.

Her body was found in the bushes the next day. Three men were arrested in the case on November 27.

The victim was named ‘Samatha’ in the case to protect her identity. The government had set up the fast-track court on December 12.

Two days later, the police filed the chargesheet. The accused were charged under Sections 302, 376-D, and 404 of the Indian Penal Code and Section 3(2)(v) Aof the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

The police, in its 150-page chargesheet, mentioned pieces of evidence including forensic evidence and incorporated statements of 44 witnesses including doctors, residents of victim’s village, daily wage labourers, who spotted the body and police officials.

According to police, the accused hailing from the same village were an inebriated condition. They abducted the woman, who was alone, and after sexually assaulting her strangulated her to death.

Bar Association of Adilabad had decided not to represent the accused in the case. The court, however, intervened and asked the District Legal Services Authority to provide a lawyer to represent them.

The accused had pleaded not guilty and had moved a discharge petition, but it was dismissed by the court.