Five years after he kidnapped a relative’s child and brutally murdered him on a railway track near Tirumullaivoyal Station, Juhunu alias Chandrakanth, 39, was sentenced to life imprisonment by the Principal Sessions Court here on Monday.

Juhunu, a Rajasthani youth, then 34, was jobless and dependent on his relatives in Sowcarpet. On September 25, 2008, he went to the residence of his relative, Anand C.Jain, a businessman dealing in steel utensils. He asked Anand’s wife, Shaila Jain for Rs. 50, which she refused to give.

Under the pretext of playing with her two-and-a-half-year-old son, Monic, Juhunu took him away. A short while later, the mother realised that the child was missing and rushed to other relatives’ houses and the railway station in search. However, one of her relatives got a call from Juhunu demanding ransom for releasing Monic. He threatened to take him to New Delhi and kill him if the money was not paid.

The next day, the police recovered the child’s body near the railway track between Ambattur and Tirumullaivoyal railway stations. After a long manhunt across the country, the Mumbai police arrested Juhunu a month later.

According to the prosecution, Juhunu had kidnapped Monic because Shaila did not give him money for his expenses. At about 1 a.m, he had killed the baby by smashing him on the railway track, while holding him by his legs.

Juhunu claimed in his defence that Monic died in an accident. He claimed that as he was sitting between two tracks with the sleeping child, Monic was sucked into the path of a speeding train.

Rejecting the theory, G.Chockalingam, Principal Sessions Judge, said, “The prosecution has established that the accused kidnapped the child from his mother and murdered him on the railway track.” If it was really an accident, the body would not have been in one piece and in one particular spot. The court also rejected the defence that the accused was mentally ill, holding that it was not established.

The Judge sentenced Juhunu to separate life terms for kidnap and murder, but ordered that he undergo the sentences concurrently. The court also imposed a fine of Rs.10,000 on him. “The conduct of the accused also proved that he alone murdered the child and ran away from the clutches of law and ran away to different places”, the judge added.

Both Anand C. Jain and Shaila were present in court when it pronounced its verdict, along with relatives. Tears rolled down Mrs. Jain’s eyes, as she heard the judgment. “I am happy that my child’s killer gets life imprisonment. I was waiting for this happen for more than five years and wanted him to get maximum punishment.”

“Every mother should be bold and fight for justice for her child. I have lived with the conviction that I should not weep until we get justice. I have not cried so far,” a weeping Mrs Jain said. Mr. Anand said none could can compensate the loss of the child.