SRINAGAR: Srinagar drunkard, who kidnapped, raped and brutally murdered a minor in 2007 was today awarded life imprisonment. The sentence is to be confirmed by the High Court.

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“I award life imprisonment to the convict Zahoor Ahmad Sheikh S/o Abdul Rashid Sheikh R/o Akhrajpora Rajbagh Srinagar for the commission of the offence under section 302 RPC,” the judgement delivered by Renu Dogra Gupta, the Second Additional Session Judge, reads. “Further the convict is sentenced to rigorous imprisonment of 7 years for offence punishable under Section 363 RPC and also sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for 10 years for the offence punishable under Sections 376 RPC. The sentences shall run concurrently.”

The accused was convicted by the court on March 10, 2023, in an offence involving the kidnapping of a minor girl – the daughter of his cousin, and later murdering her brutally after rape in a deserted migrant house in the Ikhrajpora area.

The court observed that the case does not fall in the rarest of the rare cases but is “almost on the border of the rarest of rare case”. The prosecution was seeking a death penalty but the amicus curie, appointed by the court, pleaded for a lenient view while imposing the sentence. His plea was that the case was decided on circumstantial evidence and not direct evidence.

Convict Zahoor, who was 21 at the time of the commission of the heinous offence, is 37 now. For all these years he has been in judicial custody.

The shocking case was reported on August 23, 2007, when the father of the Ikhrajpora girl reported to police that his daughter is missing. Her body was recovered a day later from a deserted migrant house in the same locality.

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