A local court in Odisha’s tribal-dominated Nowrangpur district has awarded death penalty to a youth for the rape and murder of a 60-year-old woman.
The incident happened on February 27, 2011, when Lachan Dei, a widow and a resident of Kesarabeda village, had gone to the nearby forest to collect fodder. Misra Paraja, a tribal in his early 30s of the same village, raped her taking advantage of the isolated area.
However, a couple who were passing by and had reached the spot after hearing the old lady’s screams had tried to rescue her but in vain as Paraja threatened to kill them if they did not leave immediately.
The couple then rushed to the village and informed others. When the villagers reached the spot, the accused was trying to take the victim’s body to the village burial ground in a bicycle. He was caught and then handed over to the police.
The judgment was delivered on the basis of statements made by 18 witnesses, including the two-eyewitnesses.
This is the third death sentence in the state in a rape and murder case in 2013. Last week, a local court in Jharsuguda district awarded capital punishment to a youth for killing a minor girl and subsequently raping her body.
Similarly, in January, a local court in Sambalpur district had awarded death penalty to a man in a rape and murder case involving a minor girl.