THE DEATH penalty Thursday awarded by a Thane sessions court to two persons for raping two women and killing one of them has marked the end of a five-year story for the investigating officers of the case. The case that was solved by the Navi Mumbai crime branch started with an unidentified body of a woman found below an under-construction flyover on the Sion Panvel highway on May 9, 2012.
During the course of the investigation, the police found that the woman was a ragpicker and had been raped and murdered. More importantly, they found that another woman had been attacked with her, but had managed to survive. The police traced her, and it was the testimony of the survivor that helped police arrest the two accused, Rahimuddin Shaikh (29) and Sandeep Shirsat (25). After their conviction and sentencing, officers said they felt satisfied professionally.
A Thane sessions court on Thursday held Shaikh and Shirsat guilty of gangrape and murder. District government pleader Sangita Phad said, “The court found that their act was of extreme brutality and awarded them the death penalty.”
Both the women, in their twenties, had been attacked several times with knives and hexo-blades by Shaikh and Shirsat.
Meera Bansode, the investigating officer of the case, said, “The case began with an unidentified body of a woman with absolutely no clue. After investigating, we found that another woman too had been attacked at the same spot but had managed to flee. We then started looking for the woman. Eventually, after verifying several details, we managed to track her to Govandi in Mumbai. She too had sustained several injuries.”
The police then convinced her to be a complainant in the case and based on her statement, found that Shaikh and Shirsat, two caterers, had attacked them.The survivor told the police that the duo had promised to get them jobs as caterers.They then took them below the flyover, where they got them inebriated by mixing their cold drinks with alcohol.
The accused then raped the two women at knifepoint and slashed and stabbed them several times. “They also disfigured the face of one of the women before they left. They did not realise that the other woman was still alive,” Bansode said.
Dattatray Shinde, the then DCP, Navi Mumbai crime branch, who is now Sangli Superintendent of Police, said, “It is satisfying to know that the death penalty was awarded in the case. The men were heartless. They deserved nothing less then capital punishment,” Shinde said.