Dhubri, Dec. 12: The Dhubri district and sessions court today sentenced Raj Mahato to “life in jail till death” for the murder of Class XI student Pallabi Deb in May this year.
“Mahato was found guilty under Sections 302 and 341 IPC and he was sentenced to ‘life term in jail till death,’” senior criminal lawyer Noor Islam Choudhury, who was the defence lawyer, told newspersons outside the court premises after the judgment was pronounced by the district and sessions judge Alokeshwar Bhattacharjee.
Islam said though the case was not tried in a fast-track court, the judgment was delivered in a relatively quick time of seven months and 11 days. “This is a landmark judgment as it is not a simple life term but life term till death,” he added.
Pallabi’s parents, Prasanta Kumar Deb and Anuradha, told reporters they were satisfied with the judgment and expressed their gratitude to the people, police, judicial staff, lawyers and the media for their co-operation. We are satisfied because my daughter’s killer has got befitting punishment for his crime, they added.
Mahato, 20, had stabbed Pallabi, an HS student, while she was going for her tuition classes at Station Road here around 7.30am on May 1 this year, after she allegedly spurned his love.
She was shifted to Dhubri civil hospital and subsequently to Gauhati Medical College and Hospital in a serious condition but she succumbed to her injuries on May 3.
Mahato tried to commit suicide by consuming phenyl after stabbing Pallabi.
But he survived and was subsequently arrested by the police.
He is a resident of Charmian Road of this town.
The investigating officer in the case, Dhubri town sub-inspector Jayanta Kumar Das, completed the probe and submitted his report to the court in 90 days.
“It was a sensitive case. We completed the investigation within the stipulated time. I am happy to hear the verdict,” he said.
The chief convener of Dhubri Bikash Aru Pragati Mancha, Shyamal Sanyal, while welcoming the judgment, said when the incident took place, several organisations had demanded the trial to take place in a fast-track court.
“Though the case was not fast-tracked, the judgment has come out as we expected since a delay in pronouncing the judgment sometimes denies justice to the victim and his or her family. Exemplary punishment was given to the accused and the judgment will help curb crimes in the state to some extent,” he said.