June 17, 2020 8:15:13 pm
The district and sessions court of Rajkot on Wednesday convicted Firoze alias Adil Hanif Juneja of murdering a student in Bajrangwadi area of Rajkot city, in 2011, and sentenced him to life imprisonment.
The court of Additional District Judge RL Thakkar pronounced Juneja guilty of murdering Bilalkhan Pathan, an 18-year-old student, in Bajrangwadi area of the city on May 28, 2011.
According to the prosecution, Juneja stabbed Pathan after the latter’s vehicle came face to face with that of the accused in Bajrangwadi. Pathan, who had just completed his schooling, was riding a two-wheeler back home in the same locality. Juneja was also riding a two-wheeler. After both vehicles came too close to each other, Juneja picked up an argument with Pathan and stabbed him even as the victim’s 12-year-old cousin sister, who was riding pillion, looked on. The student had succumbed to his wound after five days. Based on a complaint filed by Pathan, police had booked Juneja.
“An executive magistrate had recorded Pathan’s dying declaration, in which Pathan had stated that he was assaulted by Juneja. The victim’s cousin sister, who witnessed the murder, also identified the accused. In her deposition, she told the court that she had heard Juneja’s name as a notorious criminal of Bajrangwadi… Appreciating evidence on record, the court agreed with our case, convicted Juneja and sentenced him to life imprisonment,” Additional Public Prosecutor Mahesh Joshi told The Indian Express.
While Pathan was the son of a baker and lived at street 10 of Bajrangwadi area, Juneja is resident of adjoining Wankaner society.
“We also submitted to the court that the accused is facing 28 other cases of causing bodily harm, keeping firearms without licence, etc. The fact that he was carrying a knife at the time of the argument also tells us about the accused’s intention,” Joshi said, adding that Juneja was in judicial custody after his arrest in the murder case. Presently, Juneja is lodged in Junagadh district jail.
This is the second time Juneja has been convicted in the past two years. In February 2018, a local court had found him guilty under IPC Sections 336 (Act endangering life and safety of others) and 201 (Causing disappearance of evidence). The case was lodged against him after he was hit in the thigh by a bullet, when a firearm went off while he was servicing it in Bajrangwadi.
However, he filed a police complaint alleging that someone had fired on him and he was injured. The court had found him guilty and sentenced him to nine months of imprisonment. The incident had taken place when Juneja was out on interim bail, Joshi said..
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