A Fast Track Court here today sentenced a 30-year-old man to death for raping and murdering a young woman after pushing her out of a running train, holding that he committed the crime in a "diabolic manner" deserving no leniency. Pronouncing the judgement in a packed court, judge KNRaveendra Babu
observed the 23-year-old victim was raped in a brutal and cruel manner and the accused Govindachamy deserved the highest punishment.
The judge had on October 31 held the man hailing from Virddhachalam in Tamil Nadu guilty of offences under IPC 302 (murder), 376)(rape), 394 (robbery) and other counts.
Though security was tightened in the court premises in view of public interest in the case, the van in which the convict was taken out after the proceedings was stoned by the crowd a couple of times. Govindachamy was taken to the Central Prison in Kannur.
The murder of Soumya in February this year near here had sparked widespread public outcry over the safety of women travelling in trains.
According to the prosecution, Govindachamy had assaulted and pushed the victim travelling in a deserted ladies' compartment of the Kochi-Shornur passenger train on February 1 this year.
Govindachamy, a vagrant, had assaulted her after the train left the Vallathol Railway station, a few minutes before it was to reach her destination.
After she fell on the track side, he pursued her and dragged her to a dark isolated spot and raped before hitting her head with a stone.
Though Soumya was taken to a hospital by a passersby, she died on February 6 after battling for life.
The victim, an employee of a shopping mall in Kochi, was on her way home at Manjakkad near Shornur and the tragedy occurred a day before her betrothal.
The trial in the case threw up some surprise as some Mumabi-based lawyers came to defend the accused, who was a vagrant allegedly wanted in other cases in his home state.
There had been allegations that a mafia which thrives by committing theft and crimes around railway stations was trying to save Govindachamy.