Youths get death for girl kidnap & murder

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By Staff Reporter
  • Published 26.09.08

Two youths convicted of a schoolgirl’s murder were given the death sentence on Thursday, making it the third instance in less than a month of a city court awarding capital punishment to killers.

Bappa Das,19, had conspired with his friends Biswajit Sandhukhan, 20, and Rajat Adhikary, 17, to abduct his nine-year-old cousin Sarmistha for ransom on November 26, 2006. They murdered her when the girl’s father informed police about it. The Class III student was found dead near Kalyani Expressway three days later with a strangulation mark on her neck.

Bappa, in a pink T-shirt, asked for pardon moments before judicial magistrate Parthasarathi Mukherjee pronounced his verdict in a Barrackpore fast track court. The judge said his and Biswajit’s crime “shook the conscience of society” and deserved the strictest form of punishment.

The duo’s accomplice, Rajat, is being tried in a juvenile court. All three are from Viveknagar, in North 24-Parganas. Sarmistha used to live with her parents in the same locality.

Residents of the area thronged the court compound since morning on judgment day, with most saying they had come to see justice being done to the little girl whose life was taken. “It was a heinous crime, for which they deserve exemplary punishment,” said Tapan Das, a neighbour of the victim’s family.

Bappa and Biswajit had first demanded Rs 5 lakh from Sarmistha’s father Shyamal, a fire brigade employee. They scaled down the ransom demand to Rs 2 lakh when Shyamal said he could not pay such a huge amount.

Investigators suspected Bappa of having a hand in the incident because Sarmistha was last seen with him.

Bappa’s lawyer S. Sen said he would appeal against the sentence in the high court on Friday.

On Tuesday, a fast track court sentenced domestic help Kebal Rai to death for the murder of Tarachand and Sharda Banka in the Camac Street apartment three years ago. Another domestic help, Nikku Yadav, got the death sentence on August 29 for the murder of Ravinder Kaur Luthra, a popular face in the city’s social circuit.