Days after the state cabinet approved the draft on Shakti Act which awards capital punishment for rape, a monster criminal identified as Mohammed Yunus Bashir Shah alias Zero (27), was sentenced to life imprisonment, three years after he was arrested for raping and brutally murdering a four-year-old girl in Bhayandar.
District Judge-H.M.Patwardhan, found him guilty for the barbaric crime which had shockwaves in the twin-city in 2017. While Zero had been charged under sections 302, 201, 376-(1) 363, 364 of the IPC and relevant sections of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act- POCSO, 2012, his two accomplices identified as- Jitendra Tirthprasad Rao alias Jeetu (35) and the physically challenged, Mohammed Rozan Issac Irani (41) were awarded four years rigorous imprisonment and a monetary fine of Rs. 3,000 each after being convicted for causing disappearance of evidence of the offence.
All the accused worked as scrap loaders. Advocate Ujjwala Mohalkar was the additional public prosecutor in the case. According to the police the incident was reported from a slum cluster in Bhayandar (east) on 9, January, 2017, when locals spotted stray animals attempting to feast on a pair of human hands jutting out from the bottom of the dry drain.
The body was that of a four-year-old girl who had mysteriously disappeared from her tenement. An autopsy confirmed sexual assault and death due to deep head injuries caused by some sharp object.
A police team led by Senior Police Inspector- Srikant Padhule and API Prafful Wagh immediately swung into action and managed to apprehend the trio less than three days after the crime. Investigations revealed that the prime accused – Zero who was known to the girl’s family lured the girl with chocolates to a secluded place behind an industrial estate near her house where he raped and murdered her and later tried to dispose of the body with the help of his accomplices.
Supported by strong evidence, the investigating team filed a watertight charge-sheet which led to the conviction.
Chilling details had emerged in the sensational case. After committing the gory crime, the remorseless killer had coolly walked to a nearby eatery and feasted on fish and rice. Zero, who frequently loaded and unloaded scrap from the tempo belonging to the girl’s father did not leave the locality and to avoid suspicion he even joined locals in the search operations.