The arrest of three murderers, who had killed a 22-year-old man, within one hour of the crime being reported to the Nandurbar police last year helped secure a conviction against all the three earlier this week.
According to the Nandurbar police, the three convicts, Sakharam Gavit and his sons Samuvel and Sandeep, barged into the residence of Nawapur resident Ajay Gavit, 22, at around 8 a.m. on March 12, 2021. The police said that Ajay had married Sakharam’s daughter Manisha against her family’s wishes, and hence, her father and brothers had come after Ajay to avenge the slight to their honour.
Sandeep stabbed Ajay in the chest with a dagger, while Sakharam inflicted several serious injuries on Ajay’s elderly mother Savitribai and Samuvel assaulted Ajay’s father Rajaram with a stick. The trio then fled the scene and Ajay was rushed to a local hospital where he was declared dead before admission. The Nawapur police subsequently registered an FIR and launched a manhunt for the trio.
“We were able to trace and apprehend all the three accused within an hour of the case being registered, and hence, they still had bloodstains on their hands and clothes, as well as mud from the victims’ residence on them. All of this was seized as evidence in an extremely technically sound manner and sent for forensic analysis,” said police inspector Balasaheb Bhapkar, who was in charge of the Nawapur police station at the time.
Bhapkar added that the investigating team also identified three crucial witnesses in the case and recorded their statements in the presence of a judicial magistrate under provisions of section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC). As a result, these statements became important evidence at trial stage as they can not be retracted.
“Two other witnesses turned hostile during the trial but these three statements bolstered our case a lot. Also, Ajay’s brother Prakash, who was the complainant in the case, stayed firm and did not waver throughout the trial,” said Bhapkar.
Simultaneously, the police steadfastly opposed every bail application filed by the convicts and the chargesheet was filed while they were in judicial custody, eliminating the chances of them escaping. The trial was taken up on a priority basis and on June 2, Principal District and Sessions Judge R S Tiwari, Nandurbar, sentenced all the three accused to life imprisonment and a fine of Rs 14,000 each.