Finally after a period of four long years, accused mother and her lover have been convicted by local court in West Bengal. A three-and-a-hald-year-old girl was murdered by her mother and her lover, where the woman reportedly inserted seven needles into the child, which eventually led to the baby’s death.
The trial of the case, which dates back to 2017, had been progressing for over four years. A Purulia court on Tuesday sentenced both the accused – Mangala Goswami, the mother of the three-year-old victim, and her alleged lover Sanatan Thakur to death.
On July 11, 2017, Mangala Goswami admitted her three-and-a-half-year-old daughter to a hospital in Purulia, claiming that the child had fever, cold and cough. Doctors, however, found that the child had multiple wounds and scratch marks on the body, apart from bloodstains.
According to the prosecution, the two decided to kill the girl as she was becoming an “obstacle to their relationship”. The girl was also “sexually tortured” and succumbed during treatment at a hospital in Kolkata. Doctors said they extracted seven four-inch needles from her, including her private parts. Police suspect they were inserted as part of “tantric rituals” by Sanatan Thakur.
On July 11, 2017, a routine police patrol stepped in to probe a commotion in Nadiara village, off Purulia town. Agitated villagers told police that former home guard Sanatan Goswami, now a tantrik who sang kirtans as religious gatherings, and Mangala Goswami — whose husband deserted her — were refusing to take her child to hospital even though she was crying of fever for the past two weeks.
Police shifted the child to Purulia hospital where X-rays detected seven needles stuck in her chest, lower abdomen and private parts. Sanatan fled on July 12 and an FIR was lodged against him. Mangala was arrested a day after the child’s death on July 22.
A four-member police team from Purulia first travelled to Delhi to question Sanatan’s kin. Police learnt that one of his close relatives stayed in UP’s Pipri in Sonbhadra district and worked in a cable company. The company’s employee database led cops to his relative, and then to Sanatan, who was holed up in his Pipri home.
On September 12, police submitted a 550-page chargesheet in 57 days.
Sanatan’s family not only refused to help him with a lawyer, but his daughter-in-law also testified against him. After a four-year trial during which both Mangala and Sanatan were in custody, judge Pradhan on Friday convicted them for murder, criminal conspiracy and common intention.
On Saturday, a speedy disposal court in Purulia convicted the two accused on charges of colluding and hatching a conspiracy to kill the girl. The verdict in the case was stayed on Monday at the request of the public prosecutor, who sought death penalty for the convicts as they were behind a “brutal and rare crime.”
‘Mother Reason For Child’s Death’
Judge Ramesh Kumar Pradhan termed the murder as “rarest of rare”. State lawyers Anwar Ali Ansari and Arup Bhattacharya told TOI,
The court said that a mother’s lap, which is the safest for any child, turned out to be the reason for the death of a helpless child.
Death sentences given by trial courts need to be ratified by the high court.
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