A sessions court on Thursday sentenced nine men to life in prison for a 2015 brutal murder of a man in which he sustained over 100 injuries. The immediate provocation was a quarrel between the parties over his puppy biting one of them.
Additional sessions judge Kishore M. Jaiswal convicted the nine men of the offence of murder and imposed a fine of Rs. 10,000 each.
Special Public Prosecutor Iqbal Solkar said that the deceased Anil Pandey died on the spot and had over 100 injuries. He had been attacked using deadly weapons such as swords, knives, iron rods and baseball bats. One of the assailants was a minor and the trial against him was separated.
Several witnesses turned hostile during the trial and some police witnesses did not properly identify the accused in court, Solkar said. The wife of Pandey was an eyewitness to the attack and identified the accused in court. The mother of one of the accused who was also an eye-witness did not support the prosecution case.
The fateful incident had taken place on June 7, 2015, when the men - all living in the vicinity, had assembled outside Pandey’s house in Ram Nagar chawl of Bhandup around 2 AM and yelled for him to come out. They then broke open the house door and entered inside by breaking the tin roof of the house. Pandey died on the spot of the fatal injuries - there were 46 external injuries on his body. The puppy was not at home when they attacked. Neighbours could not come to help as the men had locked the doors of houses in the neighbourhood.
Solkar said the police had managed to recover blood-stained clothes and weapons from the accused when they were nabbed in a few days.
While there were apparently previous quarrels too between the two parties, what led to the attack was Pandey’s puppy Kiwi biting one of the men Saurabh Khopade when the group was playing cricket in the neighbourhood. Pandey was walking with the pup when she caught hold of the ball that came in their direction and then bit Khopade. Angered, the youths - all part of Matoshri Mitra Mandal threatened to cut the puppy’s legs and the verbal quarrel ensued. That very night Pandey was attacked.