A WEEK after a special court in Dindoshi found a 29-year-old man guilty of raping and murdering a 24-year-old physiotherapist, the prosecution on Tuesday sought the death penalty for him, citing the brutality of the offence. Special Judge A D Deo will decide on the quantum of punishment on October 4.
Special Public Prosecutor Raja Thakare submitted before the court that the manner in which the crime was committed showed the “total depravity” of Debashish Dhara, who was found guilty last week of charges including murder, rape and unnatural offences. Thakare said that the crime was so brutal that it had shocked the conscience of the society.
Dhara had entered the victim’s home on the intervening night of December 5 and 6, 2016, while she was sleeping. He then strangled her with a pair of jeans and raped her. Before leaving, he kept books and clothes on the victim and set her on fire to destroy evidence.
Thakare told the court that the brutality of the crime could be seen by the fact that a witness, who was part of the inquest panchnama, could not even describe the injuries of the deceased when she came to depose. He further said that it could not be looked at as a case of murder alone as the accused has also been found guilty under Section 376 A (punishment for causing death or resulting in persistent vegetative state of victim) of the Indian Penal Code, which like the murder charge also carries the maximum punishment of death.
The prosecutor added that the victim had a bright future and academic aspirations for herself as well as her younger sister. Thakare also sought compensation for the victim’s family.
Dhara, who was brought before the court on Tuesday, claimed that he was assaulted by other inmates after he returned to prison following his conviction last week. He sought leniency, stating that he is the only breadwinner of the family and had unmarried sisters to look after. Dhara also sought that he should be transferred to a prison in his native village in West Bengal, so that he could remain in touch with his family.
Editor’s note: In accordance with a Supreme Court order, any information that could lead to the identification of a victim of rape and/or sexual assault, or a child in conflict with the law, cannot be disclosed or revealed in any manner.