Maintaining a tough stance of not showing leniency against heinous crimes, the BJP-led NDA government on Wednesday recommended the rejection of five mercy petitions to president Pranab Mukherjee.
The rejections came on the mercy petitions of Surender Koli, convicted for serial killing of children in Nithari village in Noida; two sisters, Renuka Bai and Seema, convicted for kidnapping and killing nine children from 1990 to 1996 in Maharashtra; of Rajendra Pralhadrao Wasnik of Maharashtra; of Jagdish from Madhya Pradesh and of Holiram Bordoloi from Assam.
Of these five, the president's office had returned the files of Seema and Renukabai and Jagdish to the home ministry for a review as the previous government had sent them to the President's Secretariat at the fag-end of its tenure.
The death sentence of 42-year-old Koli, who brutally killed and later axed children in Nithari locality of Noida in UP, was confirmed by the Supreme Court in February 2011. While 16 cases were filed against him, he has been awarded the death penalty in four cases thus far; others cases are pending trial.
The two sisters from Maharashtra, along with their mother and another accomplice Kiran Shinde, were found guilty of kidnapping 13 children and killing nine of them between 1990 and 1996. However, the prosecution could prove only five murders and sentenced the two sisters to death. The case against the mother had to be abated since she died in 1997, while accomplice Shinde turned approver in the case in 2006.
The group used to kidnap children from shanty localities and force them to commit thefts, lift goods and snatch chains. But when the children grew old enough to understand their crimes, they were brutally murdered by banging their heads against the wall, railway tracks, beating with iron rods or through strangulation.