Three held guilty in Nayana Pujari rape and murder case

first_imgA Pune trial court on Monday found guilty the three accused in the gangrape and murder of software professional Nayana Pujari, seven years after the crime.The court will hear arguments on the quantum of the sentence on Tuesday, after which the judgment will be pronounced.Special Judge L.L. Yenkar, the fourth to hear the case since the protracted trial commenced in 2011, pronounced the accused Mahesh Thakur, Yogesh Raut and Vishwas Kadam guilty under Sections 376 (rape), 302 (murder), 120B(criminal conspiracy) 361 (kidnapping) along with other Sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).Ms. Pujari, an engineer with Synechron Technologies, was abducted near Kharadi bypass on October 7, 2009, while awaiting her transport back home. Raut, the cab driver who worked for the firm, along with Thakur, Kadam and a fourth person, Rajendra Chaudhari, who worked as a security guard with the firm, kidnapped the victim and raped her in the car.They later withdrew ₹61,000 using her ATM card and bludgeoned her to death in a remote spot. Her body was recovered two days later from the Zarewadi forests in Khed Taluk, 50 km from the city.The murder sent shockwaves across the city, casting a dark shadow over Pune’s reputation as a city safe for women. The victim’s husband, Abhijit Pujari, who was present in the courtroom, later said he hoped the accused would be hanged for the crime.Of the four accused, Chaudhuri turned approver. Meanwhile, Raut managed to flee police custody in 2011 and was re-arrested in Shirdi in May 2013 as the investigation sped up in the aftermath of the 2012 Delhi gangrape.In his final arguments last week, Special Public Prosecutor Harshad Nimbalkar claimed to have established a complete chain of events that led to the crime and hoped that the court would award the three accused the highest punishment.Repeat offendersDuring the investigation, it was found that the accused had murdered a vegetable vendor in a similr manner after abducting and raping her. The vendor’s body was thrown in the Indrayani river along the Pune-Nashik Highway.last_img

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