Kerala rape-murder: Auto driver gets death

A Sessions Court here on Thursday sentenced to death a 28-year-old man, an autorickshaw driver, for raping and murdering a 15-year-old girl last year.

Principal Sessions Judge B Sudheendrakumar awarded death sentence to Rajesh Kumar, who was found guilty of multiple offences, including raping and murdering the girl at her residence at Vattappara near here on March 6, 2012.

The prosecution's case was that Rajesh entered the victim's home on the pretext that he wanted some water and a screwdriver for repairing his autorickshaw, which broke down on the road in front of the house. The victim, who was preparing for her Class X examination at the time, was alone at home as her parents were away.

Rajesh then caught hold of the girl. After raping her, he strangled the girl and ran away from the spot after snatching a gold chain of the victim. To their shock, the girl's parents found their child lying dead when they returned home.

Rajesh, a native of nearby Kattakkada, was arrested a week later.

The prosecution said the accused had committed rape, murder and robbery and submitted that the crime should be considered as rarest of the rare cases and maximum punishment be awarded to the accused.

Welcoming the verdict, the girl's parents said "let it be a lesson for all" and thanked the police for expeditiously completing the inquiry and filing the chargesheet.

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