Telangana: In one of the fastest trials and that too amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a 24-year old man was on Wednesday sentenced to death by a court in Telangana in the sensational case of murder of nine people, including six members of a family, in Warangal in May this year.
Warangal First Additional District and Sessions Judge K Jayakumar awarded the capital punishment to Sanjay Kumar Yadav after holding him guilty under IPC section 302 (murder) and other relevant provisions.
According to police, Yadav, a native of Bihar, killed the nine people on May 20 by mixing sleeping pills in their food and then dumped them in a well to cover up the murder of a woman with whom he was having a live-in relationship.
The judgement was delivered in five months and six days since the date of the offence and as many as 67 prosecution witnesses were examined during the trial held physically as per the lockdown guidelines in view of COVID-19, public prosecutor M Satyanarayana Goud said.
The chargesheet in the case was filed within a month of the killings and the trial was conducted with the presence of just five people — the Judge, the public Prosecutor, defence counsel, bench clerk and the accused on most days besides the witnesses as and when their presence was required, he said.
Pronouncing the verdict, the judge observed that the convict committed a heinous crime and termed the case as rarest of the rare and therefore, imposed the capital punishment, Goud said.
Assistant Commissioner of Police Shyam Sunder told PTI “Within one month, the charge sheet was filed with sufficient material and documentary evidence and extensive use of technology”.
Mystery had shrouded the recovery of the nine bodies from the well on the premises of a gunny bag manufacturing unit in Gorrekunta village of Warangal, sending shock waves in the town.
However, the police cracked the case and arrested Yadav on May 25.
Yadav, who had been living in Warangal for the last six years, had mixed sleeping pills in the food taken by the nine, and after they fell unconscious dragged each of them and threw them into the well, police had said.
The bodies of the four people — head of the family, 48- year-old Maqsood from West Bengal who had migrated to Warrangal over 20 years ago, his wife, daughter and three-year old grandson — were retrieved from the well on May 21.
A day later, the bodies of Maqsoods two sons, a friend and two other men, employed in the unit, were fished out of the well. Investigations and CCTV footage led police to Yadav who told them that he had murdered the nine as Maqsoods wife threatened to complain to the police about her missing niece whom he had killed on March 6 this year.
He had killed the woman after she came to know about him getting closer to her daughter, the prosecution had said. Later, he returned to Warrangal and told the womans children that she had gone to her relatives house in West Bengal.
However, Maqsoods wife did not believe it and threatened to complain to the police. Fearing that he might be caught, he planned to eliminate the couple.
After coming to know that May 20 was the birthday of one of the sons of Maqsood, he reached their place and gave food mixed with sleeping pills to the family members and the three others and threw them into the well once they were fast asleep.