Indian court sentences seven men to death for raping and killing Nepalese woman

The seven, all in twenties, have been sentenced to death by Judge Seema Singhal
The seven men sentenced to death by Judge Seema Singhal. Photo courtesy: The Tribune

Seven men who raped and brutally killed a 28 year old woman from Nepal’s Dang district were sentenced to death by an Indian court on Monday. The horrific crime was committed early February this year in the north Indian city of Rohtak.

In handing down the death penalty, the judge said she wanted to send a strong message because she could ‘hear the groan’ of the Nepalese woman.

So horrible was the crime that an autopsy found on the body of the 28 year old patient of mental illness found blades, sticks, pointed stones and condoms inside her private parts.

“I award the death sentence to all these accused in the case, and they should be hanged till death,” Judge Seema Singhal was quoted by a host of Indian media yesterday. “Besides a judicial officer, I am also a human being and can hear the groan of the victim. Women are still facing crime and discrimination from males in our society and we still see gender bias in our system, but the judgment should send a strong message to the people and that is the need of the hour. We need not hide our identity behind Nirbhaya and other names. Women should tell their names with pride,” the judge said on the occasion.

The seven convicted will also have to pay the fines of INRs 175,000 that Judge Singhal slapped on each of them.

The sister of the slain Nepalese woman, known only as Janki, told Indian media that the soul of her sister would rest in peace only when the seven youths are hanged to death. The deceased had come to Rohtak to stay with her and seek medical help for her mental illness.

The perpetrators had picked her up on February 1 and took her to a deserted home where they took turns to rape and brutalise her. Initial reports said they killed her because she fought with them threatening to go to police.

The convicted Rajesh alias Ghuchru, Sunil alias Shilla, Sarwar alias Billu, Manbir, Sunil, Pawan and Parmod alias Padam are from the same village in Haryana’s Rohtak district while another suspect, Sombir, committed suicide following the incident.

There is also a Nepalese national accused in the case but his case is under process at a juvenile court.

A member of the Nepalese diaspora in Rohtak told southasia.com.au in February how vile the crime was. The victim’s hands were missing and foreign objects were found inside her private parts, he said. It was later reported that there was almost no flesh in the area between abdomen and head of the victim’s body which was perhaps set upon by stray dogs that were see scavenging in the area, reports at the time said. Her body was discovered four days after she went missing.

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