The sessions court of Rajkot on Monday convicted history-sheeter Nilay Mehta and Shabana alias Sabu Baig for the murder of a 78-year-old woman and looting gold jewellery from the victim’s home five years ago, sentencing them to life imprisonment. The court let off other four accused for lack of evidence.
The court of additional sessions judge HM Pavar held Shabana and Nilay guilty of murdering Vimleshkumari Varse on March 20, 2013, the court concurred with the prosecution’s case that Shabana asked Vimleshkumari to open the door of the latter’s flat near Amrapali railway crossing in the city and as soon as the victim opened the door, Nilay stabbed her in the throat and killed her. The duo later made away with gold bangles and a gold chain that the victim was wearing. The gold jewellery was valued at Rs 70,000.
However, the court acquitted Vinod Rathod, Rakesh Mehta, Hussain Baig and Rashid Sheikh for want of evidence. Rakesh is Nilay’s elder brother while Hussain Baig is Shabana’s paternal uncle. Sheikh and Rathod are acquaintances of the prime accused. The four were charged for harbouring Nilay and Shabana after the murder and theft. All accused are residents of Rajkot.
“The case was based on circumstantial evidence. Mobile call data records, as well as location of their mobile phones, proved that Nilay and Shabha were present in the flat of Vimleshkumari on the day of the crime. Shabana’s mother Zarina used to work as a domestic help for Vimleshkumari and thus Shabana would often accompany her mother to Vimleshkumari’s apartment. On the day of the crime, Shabana identified herself as the daughter of Zarina and asked the victim to open the door. Stains of Vimleshkumari’s blood were found on Shabana’s clothes. In all, we examined 33 witnesses and produced 66 documentary evidence. The court concurred with our case and sentenced the duo to life imprisonment,” additional public prosecutor (APP) Samir Khira said.
Nilay is facing 29 other cases, including three murder cases. Then 33, the history-sheeter was arrested by police on May 13, 2015. Shabana was arrested on the day of the crime itself. The duo were since lodged in jail while the four accused had got bail after their arrest. The APP said that Mehta and Shabana, then 22, were having an extra-marital affair.
“The victim’s son, who was also a complainant of the case, identified Shabana in the court. Eventually, the court held Shabana and Nilay guilty of murder, criminal conspiracy, house trespass, theft, and destruction of evidence and sentenced them to life imprisonment,” Khira added.