The testimony of a six-year-old girl resulted in the conviction of two men who had murdered her mother three years ago.
Bankshal court’s fast track court found Narendra Kumar Bagri and Sekhar Mali guilty of killing Rekha Chandok, wife of Burrabazar-based trader Shibprasad Chandok, and sentenced the duo to life imprisonment.
“Sakshi Chandok’s statement was the most important evidence as her mother had been murdered in front of her. She narrated the entire incident to the magistrate,” said Jawed Shamim, the deputy commissioner of police, detective department.
Rekha was murdered in the ground-floor flat of the Chandoks’ Haradhole Lane residence on June 7, 2004.
Bagri, a cousin of Rekha’s husband, and Mali first strangled her with the wire of an electric iron and then slit her throat with the sharp edge of a broken bottle.
Rekha was seven months pregnant when she was brutally murdered.
Police later learnt that Bagri and Mali had murdered Rekha when she prevented them from taking away cash and jewellery worth Rs 13,000 from their Jorabagan home. The booty was later recovered from Bhadreswar, in Hooghly district.
Sakshi, better known as Guddu in the family, was just three years old when saw her mother being killed in front of her.
“The girl was traumatised. She was in no condition to speak for weeks after her mother’s death. Our officers, including policewomen, spent a lot of time with her and that helped her open up and recount the horror story,” said Shamim.
According to the police, Sakshi had even identified Bagri, a frequent visitor to their home.
Uttam Mukherjee, the investigating officer of the case, used to take the little girl to the magistrate of the fast-track court during the trial and she became the key witness for the prosecution and helped the cops crack the case.
“We had collected other evidences like the reports of fingerprint experts that confirmed that the marks found on the broken bottle and on the glass matched with the impressions of Bagri and Mali. But the girl’s statement was the most vital for us. Because there was no one else who saw the duo entering Chandok’s house and coming out after the murder,” said an officer of the detective department’s homicide wing.