Two get life term for murder of actress

Two get life term for murder of actress

Six years after aspiring actress and model Meenakshi Thapa was brutally murdered, two junior artistes were sentenced to life imprisonment by the Mumbai Sessions Court on Friday.

On Wednesday, Additional Sessions Judge S G Shette found Amit Jaiswal (36) and his girlfriend Preeti Surin (26) guilty under IPC Sections 302 (murder) and 364-A (kidnapping for ransom).

Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam had sought the death penalty for the two convicts. However, the court awarded them life imprisonment.

"The two convicts have been sentenced for life," Nikam said, adding that he would be able to comment on why the court had not treated the case as "rarest of the rare" once he gets the reasoning in the detailed order.

Meenakshi (27), from Dehradun, was murdered in Allahabad in March 2012. According to the prosecution, Amit and Preeti, from Uttar Pradesh, had lured the victim to Allahabad on the pretext of a modelling-cum-acting assignment.

Meenakshi had met the duo on the sets of Madhur Bhandarkar’s “Heroine” and expressed her ambitions to make a career in films after having acted in a horror flick “404” in 2011.

Under the pretext of a film assignment in Gorakhpur, the duo took her to Allahabad - where they held her hostage and demanded a hefty Rs 15 lakh ransom for her release. Meenakshi's family could only manage to send Rs 60,000.

The duo later killed Meenakshi, chopped her body into pieces and disposed of it in a nearby septic tank. They boarded a bus to Lucknow where they got rid of the weapons. Then they boarded another bus to Jaunpur and threw away the bag containing Meenakshi’s severed head at an isolated location.

Mobile phone tracking and use of ATMs by the accused helped the Crime Branch in nabbing them.