9-year-old girl's testimony in murder case leads to life imprisonment of two

Sriparna Ghosh

Reuters File

The testimony of a nine-year-old girl, who witnessed a murder in the room of a neighbouring house, was the trump card in nailing two accused, who were sentenced to life imprisonment by the Thane district court. The murder took place in Thane, Maharashtra.

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While the sessions judge Vilas V Bambarde has convicted Kamlibai Waghe (46) and Faruk Khan, and fined them Rs 500 each, another accused, Vijay Pawar (40) was released after being given the benefit of doubt.

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According to the prosecutor, Pawar had suspicion that his wife, Waghe was having an affair with his friend and victim, Shivaji Jadhav, who considered Waghe as his "keep."

On October 2, 2010, Jadhav had dinner with his friend at 8.30pm and left Waghe's room in Gayatri Nagar, Bhiwandi. Later, Waghe and Jadhav got into an argument, after which she called her friends Dara Paswan aka Lambu Bhaiyya and Khan.

According to the prosecution, Waghe and Khan caught hold of Jadhav, while Paswan killed him with a sickle. The body was later kept behind the house at night. Waghe and Jadhav had got into an argument when Waghe refused to have sex with Jadhav.

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When Jadhav started abusing her, Waghe got Paswan and Khan to kill him.

But a 9-year-old child, the neighbour's daughter, whose house is separated from Waghe's by a tin sheet said that, when Paswan and Jadhav quarrelled, Paswan threw chilli powder in Jadhav's eyes and assaulted him. Waghe and Khan then caught hold of Jadhav, while Paswan put a rope around his neck, Khan strangled him. Later, Kamlibai cut his throat with the sickle.

The next morning, the trio met again and cut the victim's body into pieces. He was beheaded and left leg was cut off. The young girl even heard Pawar saying the work of eliminating Jadhav had been done. The accused then packed the body in a gunny bag, and threw some body parts behind the house of Fatte Mohammad Shah at Dongarpada. The head was found 200 feet away, and the left leg in nearby bushes.

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According to Times of India, the judge said, "It is very important to note that the nine-year-old's testimony, after careful scrutiny, appears reliable."

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