Court brings closure to Kopardi rape case which led to Maratha unrest

Violet Powell
November 30, 2017

The court upholds death for the three men who were convicted of raping and murdering a 15-year-old girl in Kopardi village in 2016, sparking a huge outcry across the state, especially from the Maratha community.

The court held the three guilty on November 18.

The victim, a Class IX student, was found murdered after being raped on July 13, 2016 at Kopardi village in Ahmednagar district.

When police recovered the body of the victim, it showed signs of brutal assault with her limbs broken, hair pulled out, and bite marks all over her body.

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On October 7, Ahmednagar police filed a charge sheet running into over 350 pages before the court, charging the three accused under IPC Sections 302 (murder), 376 (rape) and relevant sections of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. The order put an end to the 15-month long silent vigil by the Maratha community, whose members were present in large numbers both inside and outside the court. "I am thankful to the government, police, judiciary and the entire Maratha community for coming together and fighting for my daughter", the girl's mother said. "Two days before the incident, the victim was molested by the accused".

The prosecutor said that the three convicts were also given life imprisonment for charges pertaining to rape and criminal conspiracy and they were also fined Rs 20,000 each. CM, political parties hail verdict Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and other political leaders hailed the verdict, with the CM saying the investigating agencies conducted a swift inquiry and arrested the accused immediately. Reportedly, none of the defense lawyers were there, while special prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam was present in the court.

However, Court has finally done the justice by awarding death sentence to three convicts of Kopardi rape and murder case including Nitin Bhailume. While passing the judgment, the court called them all in front of the dais and explained to them their conviction clauses, saying that the death sentences are subject to confirmation by the Bombay High Court. All these sentences will run concurrently, said Nikam.

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