Couple gets life term for murder
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A Pune court recently sentenced a man and his wife to life imprisonment for murdering a close relative. According to the prosecution, the murder was a fallout of jealousy because the victim had two sons, while convicts Vishnu Raghunath Khandagale (32) and Rekha alias Gawalan Vishnu Khandagale (25) from Wakad had three daughters. The murdered woman was Vishnu's sister-in-law.
Vishnu's younger brother Shankar married Sonali in 2005 and the four started staying together with Kadubai Raghunath Khandagale — Shankar and Vishnu's mother.
After three years of their marriage, Shankar and Sonali had two sons. According to the prosecution, "Vishnu and his wife Rekha did not have any son. Hence, they used to ill-treat Sonali out of jealousy. Sonali's father-in-law had sold a plot near their house for Rs 11 lakh. Vishnu and Rekha used to tell Sonali that she will not get a share from that money. When Sonali complained to her husband Shankar, he abused and beat her."
After Sonali complained to her parents and brother, they tried to persuade the in-laws following which Sonali and Shankar started to reside in a separate house adjacent to Sonali's in-laws.
On August 12, 2010, around 2 pm, Sonali's minor son was allegedly beaten up by Rekha. Sonali then went to Rekha and cautioned her against abusing her sons, the prosecution said, adding that this angered Vishnu and he went to Sonali's house along with Rekha and beat her up. "According to police, Vishnu poured kerosene on Sonali and Rekha set her afire, following which the duo fled from the scene. No one tried to rescue her," additional public prosecutor Ashok Mulchandani told the court.
Sonali's husband Shankar informed her brother and mother about the incident, after which they took her to a hospital. Sonali gave her statement to the police in the hospital. The police registered an attempt to murder case against Rekha, Vishnu and Kadubai. Three days later, Sonali succumbed to burns. She had received 91 per cent superficial-to-deep burns. The charge against the accused was changed from attempt to murder to murder.
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