Delivering its verdict on the gruesome gangrape and murder of 30-year-old Samata (name changed), a special fast track court in Adilabad district on Thursday sentenced the three accused in the case to death. The judgment comes two months after the incident. Besides death sentence the convicts were imposed a fine of Rs 26,000.
30-year-old Samata hailing from Nirmal's Khanapur region was working as a street hawker, selling cosmetics and petty items. She was found murdered in a village in Lingala mandal of Asifabad district. Investigating officials had arrested three men, Shaik Babu (35), Shaik Shaboddin (30), and Shaik Makdum (40), and booked them for murder, gangrape, and relevant sections of the SC and ST Prevention of Atrocities Act on November 25. The police had submitted its evidence and produced around 25 witnesses before the court.
Following the verdict, the three accused reportedly pleaded for mercy from the court, saying they had young children who depend on them. The verdict comes after the judgment was postponed several times. While it was initially expected to come on January 7, the court postponed it to January 27 and finally January 30.
The victim is from the Budagajangam community (Scheduled Caste), which is among the most marginalised in Telangana, even among Dalits.
After her death, protests erupted in Asifabad and parts of erstwhile Adilabad. Activists alleged that the government had ignored delivering justice to the victim since she belonged to a Dalit community.
Following widespread protests, the Telangana government set up a special court in Adilabad in December 2019, where the trial began. The state government also offered Samataâ€™s husband a job as an attendant at the state-run Social Welfare Hostel.
Speaking to TNM earlier this week, her husband had said, "We strongly believe that the court will give justice to us as it heard the case thoroughly in the last two months. Those three should be given death penalty, as they tortured and killed her."