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Surat court sentences Grishma Vekariya’s murderer to death, cites Nirbhaya case, Manusmriti

Photo used for representational purpose only.

Photo used for representational purpose only. | Photo Credit: Getty Images

A court in Surat on Thursday awarded death sentence to Fenil Goyani who murdered a 21-year-old college student outside her house for rejecting his relationship proposal in February this year.

Citing the Nirbhaya gangrape case of Delhi and a verse from the Manusmriti, the judge also compared the accused to Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Kasab in his cruelty and lack of remorse.

Surat's Principal Sessions and District Judge V.K. Vyas said strict punishment was needed to deter people from committing such crimes against women.

The victim’s parents as well as Gujarat Minister of State for Home Harsh Sanghavi welcomed the verdict.

The police had filed a 2,500-page charge sheet within a week of the incident, and later submitted 120 documentary pieces of evidence.

Many onlookers had captured the entire incident on smartphones. These video clips and eyewitness accounts of 25 persons proved to be crucial evidence for the prosecution.

The charges were framed in the case on February 25, and the trial began on February 28. A total of 105 witnesses were examined.

On February 12, 2022, Goyani (21) murdered a resident of Kamrej area in Surat city, in front of her family members.

Goyani, who had studied at the same school as the victim, was upset after she refused to be in a relationship with him.

During the incident, he also stabbed the victim’s brother and uncle, and later injured himself with the same knife. The police took him to a hospital and arrested him on February 16 upon discharge.

About a thousand people had attended the funeral procession, demanding justice for her.

Judge Vyas termed the case as “rarest of the rare” and sentenced Goyani to death, as sought by the prosecution. The court had, in April, convicted Goyani under sections 302 (murder) and 307 (attempt to murder) of the Indian Penal Code.

While pronouncing the sentence on Thursday, the judge noted that like Ajmal Kasab, one of the terrorists who attacked Mumbai in November 2008, Goyani exhibited cruelty and showed no remorse during the trial.

Saying that in his 28 years' career he never faced such a case, judge Vyas said Grishma's fate was akin to that of `Nirbhaya', the victim of the 2012 Delhi gangrape.

He also cited a verse from the Manusmriti, the ancient Hindu text on law and religion, which says that punishment should be commensurate with the seriousness of crime.

The accused showed no mercy while slitting the victim's throat using a large knife, the judge noted.

Grishma's father said justice had been done, and the accused should be hanged at the earliest.

“Such a punishment is needed to send a strong message in society that the guilty will not be spared," he said while thanking the Kamrej Police, Minister Sanghavi and former MLA Praful Pansuria for supporting the family.

On February 12, Goyani first stabbed the victim's uncle with a knife after reaching her house, and also wounded her younger brother who tried to save his uncle. When she came out, Goyani put a knife across her neck.

While the family members and neighbours tried hard to persuade Goyani to let go of her, he suddenly slashed her throat. He was arrested the same day.

Many onlookers captured the entire incident on smartphones. The video clips of the murder went viral on social media, triggering outrage and leading to calls for death sentence for the accused.

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Printable version | Jul 1, 2022 7:01:46 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/surat-court-sentences-grishma-vekariyas-murderer-to-death-cites-nirbhaya-case-manusmriti/article65385285.ece