Musician murder case: Minor girl likely to be tried as adult

Mumbai: The Mumbai crime branch, currently investigating the suitcase murder case, received a jolt on Saturday when it emerged that the main accused Rinki (name changed to protect identity) was in fact, a minor. However, sources in the crime branch say she could be tried as an adult in court.

Rinki was arrested on December 2, along with her 16-year-old boyfriend, for allegedly killing her 'adopted' father, 59-year-old Bennet Rebello, a musician. According to a crime branch officer, they are likely to appeal to the court to try the juvenile girl as an adult, considering the heinous nature of the crime. Her minor tag should not be seen as a mitigating factor, say officers.

"We were looking for the girl's birth documents for the last 15 days. On Saturday, our team went to her brother's house in Rabale, Navi Mumbai. Initially, her brother denied knowing Rinki. However, when our staff showed him her picture, he identified her as his sister and produced her birth certificate and Aadhaar card, which confirmed that the girl is a minor, born on July 21, 2002, which makes her almost 17-and-a-half years old," said an officer.

After this revelation, the girl was produced in court, which ordered the crime branch to produce her before the juvenile justice board (JJB). She was produced before the JJB on Sunday, which sent her to a remand home in Dongri.

Rebello, a Vakola resident, was killed by Rinki and her boyfriend on November 26. After the killing, the duo chopped his body into pieces, stuffed these into suitcases which they tossed in Mithi river on November 29.

After a few days, a suitcase with some body parts was recovered from the Arabian Sea behind Mahim Dargah. The crime branch identified Rebello through a tailoring tag on the shirt stuffed into the suitcase and arrested Rinki and her minor boyfriend. On December 14, the crime branch arrested another accused for helping the duo to dispose Rebello's body.

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