Orphanage founder gets death sentence in girls' gang rape case

Observing that the convict "was a menace to the society," a local court today awarded death sentence to the founder of an orphanage for murder of an i

Observing that the convict "was a menace to the society," a local court today awarded death sentence to the founder of an orphanage for murder of an inmate and gang rape of five mentally-challenged girls, including three minors.

One of the victims, suffering from tuberculosis, died after she was gang raped. Hence, prime accused and director of orphanage - Ramchandra Karanjule (54) - faced additional murder charge and was convicted on this count.

"He was menace to the society and life imprisonment will be highly inadequate in this case. The convict had no right to live in the society for the heinous crime he had committed," said sessions judge P V Ganediwalla while awarding capital punishment to Karanjule.

"Every day crimes against women are being committed. It is increasing day-by-day. The law changes as per the needs of the society. It is the need of the hour to create deterrent effect by imposing the highest punishment, otherwise judicial conscience will be taken for granted," the judge observed.

Karanjule and five others were convicted yesterday and today the court gave judgement on the quantum of punishment.

The offence was committed at the orphanage, located in Kalamboli area in Navi Mumbai and run by a private organisation, Kalyani Mahila Bal Seva Sanstha.

Of the three victims who testified in the court, one girl was mentally-challenged, while two girls were deaf and mute, who identified the main accused using signs.

Besides, awarding death sentence to Karanjule, the court sentenced to life imprisonment Khandu Kasbe, who runs a similar home in Shirdi, and Prakash Khadke, a teacher in the orphanage.

Also, orphanage superintendent Sonali Badade and caretaker Parvati Mavle were sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment.

Another convict Nanabhau Karanjule, convicted for molestation, was sentenced to two-year imprisonment.

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