ADILABAD: A special fast court sentenced the three accused to death in the sensational Samatha gang-rape and murder case, today on Thursday January 30th. The verdict was rendered within 66 days after the incident occured. The court also imposed a total fine of Rs 26,000 on them.

Shaik Babu (35), Shaik Shabuddin (50) and Shaik Muqdum (aged around 45), all labourers, were arrested on November 27 and booked under IPC sections 376 (D) (gang rape) and 302 (murder) besides under relevant provisions of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and sent to judicial remand.All convictions shall run concurrently

The second and the third accused were also booked under IPC section 404 (dishonest misappropriation of property).

The special fast court constituted by the government for speedy disposal of the case posted its verdict with regard to the gang rape and murder of a tribal woman in Asifabad Komaram Bheem district which was committed on November 24th last year, just three days before the Disha rape and murder case. The case had come to light after the Disha Case as the victim was tribal woman and several welfare organisations had protested demanding justice for the victim who was brutally killed by the three accused, but was not reported on time.

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Principal District and Sessions Judge M G Priyadarshini (incharge of the special court) delivered the verdict and convicted the three men under IPC section 302 (murder) and relevant provisions of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and gave death penalty to them, Additional Public Prosecutor M Ramana Reddy said.

It may be recalled that members of Adilabad Bar Association had already resolved not to advocate on behalf of the accused. The trial which began on December 1 ended on December 30. It examined 44 witnesses, including the 140-pages charge sheet filed by the investigating officials, DNA reports and other evidences found at the scene of crime.Arguments were completed on January 20 and the case was subsequently posted for judgment.

On the last day the Judge called for the three accused A1-Shaikh Babu, A2-Shaikh Shaboddin and A3-Shaikh Mukdum to the court.

It is said that the accused had pleaded with the judge to reduce the sentence to Life Imprisonment as they were from poor backgrounds and had to take care of their family and children. The Judge is said to have told them that the crime has been proved against them and had heard the arguments on both sides.

According to the Additional Public Prosecutor, the court held it as the "rarest of the rare case" because it was a heinous offence against the woman by not only committing rape and killing her and also fracturing her ribs.

On November 24 last year, the30-year street vendor who was selling utensils was allegedly raped and her throat was slit by three persons belonging to Yellapatar village in Jainoor mandal of Kumram Bheem Asifabad district. The accused Shaikh Babu, Shaikh Shabodd and Shaikh Mukdum were said to be in an inebriated condition and torutured the victim and slashed her body and had also stolen money (RS 200) and a cell phone from her. Not only had they tortured herin heinous manner, they decided to kill her out of fear that she would reveal their identity and slit her throat ,despite her pleading with them to let her go.

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