A sessions court in Ernakulam today convicted the lone accused M Ameerul Islam, a native of Assam, in the sensational rape and murder case of Dalit woman Jisha in Kerala last year. Ernakulam Principal Sessions Court judge N Anil Kumar is likely to pronounce the quantum of punishment tomorrow.
Jisha, a 30-year-old law college student, was brutally raped and murdered at her home on April 28, 2016.
Islam was a native of Assam, who had left his home at the age of 10, according to his family.
Muhammed Ameerul Islam was found guilty under various sections of the IPC including 302 (murder), 376 (Rape) 376 (A) (causing death or causes the woman to be in persistent vegetative state while committing rape).
The accused, however, was not found guilty under 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence) and various sections under SC/ST (prevention of atrocities) amendment Act 2015.
The court is likely to pronounce the quantum of punishment on Wednesday.
The Court had on December 6 completed the hearing in the case and posted it for today for pronouncement of judgement.
On April 28, 2016, An intoxicated Ameerul is said to have barged into Jisha's house when she was alone, and murdered her when she resisted his sexual assault. Jisha lived in a dilapidated one-room house with her daily-wage labourer mother at a place called as 'canal purambokku' (waste land) in Perumbavoor. Jisha's mother discovered her body in a bloodied and battered state.
Islam, who left Perumbavoor a day after the murder, was arrested by the police from Kancheepuram in Tamil Nadu on June 16, 50 days after the gruesome incident. Islam in his confession had said another migrant worker Anarul instigated him to commit the crime, but police found that Anarul had left Perumbavoor a few months before the murder.
Like Nirbhaya, Jisha's intestines had been pulled out. She had sustained at least 30 stab wounds behind her head, on her chest, chin and neck, and is believed to have died of a head trauma.
The victim’s mother Rajeswari had during one of the trial sessions said accused Ameer Ul Islam should be hanged till death. “I am looking forward to the day (when the perpetrator will be executed). The accused should be meted out the same brutal treatment that he had forced my child to endure. The cruel fellow must experience the suffering that he inflicted on my poor girl,” the grief-stricken mother had said.
Though there was no witness to the murder, a neighbour of Jisha, Sabu Mathai, had seen the assailant leaving the house. Mathai, 37, died four months ago. He was made mahazar witness after investigators recovered the slippers of Ameerul Islam from a nearby canal. However, he was omitted from the trial proceedings by the court. Police have said that the blood stained footwear was one of the key evidence in identifying the culprit.
Jisha's father Pappu passed away in November this year. He had been living alone despite being ill and was looked after by a palliative care organisation for some time. Though Jisha’s mother Rajeswari and sister Deepa received financial assistance from the state government, Pappu did not receive any share. Pappu was one of the witnesses examined by the Ernakulam Principal Additional Sessions Court in the rape and murder of his daughter.
The brutal rape and murder of Jisha would have ended differently if the nine member team of students of Government Law College, Ernakulam hadn’t taken to social media. The campaign launched by the students in the social media with the hash tag #justiceforjisha created a big furore forcing the government to act.
As many as 100 witnesses were examined during the trial which commenced in April last.
The prosecution has described it as a rarest of rare case.
The incident was in focus during the state assembly polls campaign last year with political parties attacking the then Congress-led UDF regime for 'tardy' progress in the probe and 'failure' to nab culprits.
The LDF government, after assuming power on May 25 last year, changed the investigation team and entrusted the probe to ADGP B Sandhya in its first cabinet meeting itself.
More than 100 police personnel had questioned over 1,500 people.
Finger prints of over 5,000 people were also examined by the SIT personnel who went through over 20 lakh telephonic conversations before reaching Islam.
(With Express News Service and PTI inputs)