President rejects child rapist's mercy plea

President  rejects child rapist's mercy plea

President Pranab Mukherjee has rejected the mercy petition of a child rapist-cum-murderer, agreeing with the Union Home Ministry’s contention that Rajendra Pralhadrao Wasnik did not deserve any leniency for committing such a heinous act in 2007.

Wasnik is said to have committed a heinous crime on March 2, 2007, during a visit to his elder brother’s home. He raped and murdered his 7-year-old relative in Amravati in 2004 and two more girls in the age group of seven and nine.

In addition to his July 31 decision to reject Wasnik’s mercy petition, Mukherjee has signed 22 death warrants, sending 29 persons to the gallows since he occupied the Rashtrapati Bhavan two years ago. The President has commuting a death sentence only in one case.

On February 29, 2012, the Supreme Court had ruled that Wasnik, despite being a married man of 31 years, deserved the death penalty for committed the ghastly offence of luring his minor niece on the pretext of buying her biscuits and then raping her.

Recently, the President had turned down five mercy petitions, including that of a  Nithari serial child killer Surinder Koli. Mumbai and Parliament terror attacks convicts Ajmal Kasab and Afzal Guru respectively were sent to  the gallows following Mukherjee’s refusal to pardon them. The President, however, had commuted the death sentence of one Atbir, who murdered his step-mother, step-sister and step-brother over a property dispute in 1996.

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