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After Kasab’s, Bombay high court confirms 2nd death penalty this year

It confirmed the capital punishment given to Sandhesh alias Sainath Kailash Abhang last year by a Pune sessions court for murdering a 75-year-old woman in 2007 and raping and assaulting her pregnant grand daughter-in-law.

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Mustafa Plumber

Updated: Mar 25, 2011, 11:24 PM IST

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After sending 26/11 terrorist Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab to the gallows, the Bombay high court awarded its second death sentence of the year on Friday.

It confirmed the capital punishment given to Sandhesh alias Sainath Kailash Abhang last year by a Pune sessions court for murdering a 75-year-old woman in 2007 and raping and assaulting her grand daughter-in-law who was then in the fifth month of pregnancy. He was hungry for blood like a beast and he needs to be hanged till death for the sake of justice, the court noted.

Abhang was 23 years old on September 10, 2007, when he forcibly entered the victims’ house in Bibewadi in Pune. Shalini Jadhav, the deceased, stopped him from committing a robbery. He then brutally assaulted her with a kukree, chopping off four fingers of her right hand and almost cutting off her left hand.

After assaulting Jadhav, the accused assaulted her grand daughter-in-law. Abhang also raped her, rendering her unconscious, and fled along with valuables worth Rs43,500. He was on the run for nine days before being nabbed by the Pune police from his native place in Awasari Khurd.

The high court observed that Abhang had specifically procured the kukree, which is more lethal than a kitchen knife. This showed that the accused’s intention was not limited to robbery. If he had only wanted to rob the household, he could have just injured the victims. But his act of repeatedly assaulting the victims and washing his weapon and hands after the incident in the victims’ bathroom showed complete knowledge of his acts and intention to murder, said the court.

“The behaviour of the accused during the incident and thereafter makes it clear that he would be a menace to society,” a division bench of justices BH Marlapalle and AM Thipsay observed while confirming the death penalty.
Additional public prosecutor Madhavi Mhatre argued that the incident was so brutal that the accused required no sympathy, and there were no chances of his being reformed in prison. Further, his crime was of the ‘rarest of rare’ kind because of the kind of brutality he had exhibited, and so only the death sentence would serve the ends of justice.

The accused had studied up to Std XII. He had left his native village three years before the incident and was staying in Pune. He was working as a motor mechanic and was financially well off.  The judges compared the circumstances of the incident and found that the weapon used by Abhang was specially procured and was deadlier than any knife of a butcher.

Referring to a robbery committed by the culprit earlier, the judges said: “It speaks of the intention and the character of the accused and his motivation not to stop at one robbery.”

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