#JusticeforJisha: Convict Ameerul Islam sentenced to death by Ernakulam sessions court

A hearing to decide the quantum of punishment to the lone convict found guilty in the rape and murder of a 30-year-old Dalit law student in Kerala last year, was held in a trial court here yesterday.

Published: 14th December 2017 11:17 AM  |   Last Updated: 15th December 2017 09:59 AM   |  A+A-

Ameerul Islam. (ANI Twitter Photo)

By Online Desk

KOCHI: A court here today awarded death sentence to Ameerul Islam, the lone convict found guilty in the rape and murder case of a 30-year old Dalit law student in Kerala last year.

Ernakulam Principal Sessions court judge N Anil Kumar awarded death penalty to Islam, a migrant labourer from Assam, who had left his home at the age of 10, according to his family.

Jisha, a 30-year-old Dalit law college student, was brutally raped and murdered at her home in Perumbavoor on April 28, 2016.

Islam has been awarded life imprisonment for committing the rape of the woman after he was also found guilty under Indian Penal Code Section 376 (A) (causing death or causes the woman to be in persistent vegetative state while committing rape). He was , 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 had yesterday heard the versions of defence and prosecution in awarding the quantum of punishment in the case.

The defence counsel had yesterday moved an application seeking a fair probe, arguing that Islam, who only understands his mother tongue Assamese, was not given a fair treatment by the Kerala Police, which probed the case.

The court, however, had rejected the application, saying that the one submitted by the accused for further investigation was not in accordance with law.

The prosecution narrated the brutal manner in which the 30-year old law student was raped and murdered, and argued that it was a rarest of the rare case.

They had argued that a death sentence should be awarded to the convict, who, they said was a pervert.

The diabolic and barbaric manner in which the crime was committed on the unarmed woman was almost like that committed on Nirbhaya, victim of the gangrape and fatal assault in New Delhi in 2012, it had said.

Islam's counsel had said he was not guilty and that the police had framed him in the case.

Referring to various judgements by the Supreme Court and high courts, he had argued there was no eyewitness to the crime and the death penalty cannot be awarded merely on the basis of circumstantial evidence.
 

All you need to know about the case:

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)

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