A sessions court has awarded life term to four persons convicted for killing two elderly women in 2010.
The four allegedly broke into their bungalow in Raghukul Society of Karve Nagar in the city with the intention of theft and murdered its occupants, Smita Prabhakar Patki (52) and her sister-in-law Sulabha Patki-Pachhapurkar (60), before making away with valuables.
The four convicts have been identified as Ambadas Jadhav (32), Pandurang Jadhav (19), Banti Vadverav (22) and Mallikant Jadhav (22), all of them residents of Solapur.
According to police, the four had been keeping an eye on the activities in the bungalow. They used to sit at a park opposite the bungalow and keep a watch on the residents. On April 17 2010, the four entered the bungalow around noon and attacked the two women with knives. One of them was stabbed 10 times while the other was stabbed 14 times. The assailants slit their throats and also inflicted severe injuries on their faces and other body parts. The robbers then fled with gold jewelry, cash and mobile phones.
Three months after the incident, the police had arrested the four following a tip-off from a autorickshaw driver, who claimed to have dropped them near the park opposite the bungalow.
Patki’s husband Prabhakar Patki had registered a case with Kothrud Police.
While handing out the sentence, the court observed that the case did not belong to the “rarest of the rare” category as argued by the prosecution lawyer.
The defence lawyer said he would challenge the judgment in the Bombay High Court.
Gautam Vadverav (59), father of convict Banti Vadvekav, maintained his son was innocent and that he was framed by the police as they could not find the real culprits behind the gruesome murder.
“He (Bunty) was back in Solapur at our home for Ambedkar Jayanti celebrations. I concede he was involved in thefts and other petty crimes, but he had nothing to with this murder. We had approached the then chief minister and home minister, but none listened to us. In this system, poor folks have no voice,” said Vadverav.