A sessions court on Thursday sentenced three persons - two of them women, to life imprisonment, for the murder of a 50-year-old labourer in 2014, in which they had beheaded him and slashed his private part.
Additional Sessions Judge Kishore M. Jaiswal also imposed a fine of Rs. 20,000 each on the trio. While the women Shankaribai Rathod and Shantabai Chavan are related as sisters-in-law, the accused man Shankar Rathod is a cousin of Chavan.
Special Public Prosecutor Iqbal Solkar said that 18 witnesses deposed during the trial. The trio killed Basu Rathod as there were payments due to the women - also labourers, who Basu would help get work. Also, he had illicit sexual relations with both of them, due to which the male relative got involved, Solkar said.
As per the prosecution case, on February 23, 2014, Basu, who had two wives and eight children between the two, was called by Shankaribai to the isolated Videocon Colony, Vishnu Nagar, Chembur to have sex. The murder took place in the building’s terrace. When Basu was in a compromising position with Shankaribai, she slashed his private part with a sickle she was hiding in her saree. He was then attacked by Shankar and Shantabai from behind, whose presence he was unaware of. He was beheaded and his face and body had multiple injuries from a crowbar.
When Basu did not return home, his son lodged a missing person’s complaint with the RCF police. Later Basu's family launched a search for him in Videocon Colony where he would go to find items to sell as scrap. It is from a nearby building’s terrace that they noticed a body on the terrace and found that it was of Basu’s.
Solkar said that call detail records of Basu led to the women. The last number from which he had received a call was from a man whose phone Shankaribai had used to call Basu to the location. The man had helped the police prepare her sketch. The police used CCTV footage from a company in the neighbourhood and found two women in it, one of whom matched the sketch. They had then been taken into custody.