Gudiya case: Man sentenced to life imprisonment on charge of rape, murder

Man had altercation with victim after she spat on him following which he caught hold of her and dragged her down in the forest

Bhanu P Lohumi
Tribune News Service

Shimla, June 18

A local court found Anil alias Nilu guilty in the four-year-old Gudiya rape and murder case and sentenced him to life imprisonment on Friday.

The Court had held Kumar, a Chirani (woodcutter), guilty of rape and murder of a minor girl and convicted him under sections 376 (2)(i), 376 (A), and 302 of the Indian Penal Code and Section 4 of the POCSO Act.

District and Sessions Judge, Shimla, Rajiv Bharadwaj, who is also Special Judge of CBI Court said that out of the 14 crucial points of evidence produced by the CBI, 12 were found to be against Nilu.

The conviction was based on the fact that DNA from a blood sample of Nilu matched with the semen on the private parts and clothes of the victim and soil samples from clothes matched with the soil samples taken from the spot where the body of the deceased was found. The bite marks on the body of the deceased were also found to be of Nilu's in forensic investigations.

There were 59 witnesses, including students, teachers of the school where Gudiya was studying, villagers, doctors, forensic experts, police and eyewitnesses who saw the accused in the area before and after the crime was committed.

The judge observed that the crime was committed in a spur of the moment, with Nilu making up his mind to rape and kill the victim when he encountered her on a passage in the forest while she was returning home from school.

As per the CBI charge sheet, the accused spotted Gudiya, about 1.5 km from Dandi on the mud path on Dandi-Bankufar road in Kotkhai on July 4, 2017. He had an altercation with the victim after she spat on him following which he caught hold of her and dragged her down in the forest. He then raped and strangulated her and dumped her body in a ditch, about 32 metres away from the road.

Two days later on July 6, her body was found in the nearby forest in Haliailla in the Kotkhai area of Shimla district. Postmortem reports confirmed rape and murder. The special investigation team was constituted in the case and six suspects were arrested earlier out of which Suraj was killed in custody following which High Court asked CBI to probe both the rape case and custodial death.

The case chronology

July 4, 2017: A minor girl is reported missing on her way back from school in Kotkhai (Shimla)

July 6: Her Body was found in the nearby forest in Haliailla

July 7: Postmortem confirms rape and murder

July 10: Special investigation team constituted

July 12: Photos of some suspects were uploaded on the CM’s Facebook page and deleted within minutes

July 13: Police say six suspects arrested.

July 19: Suraj, an accused in the case killed in police custody

July 19: A mob torches Kotkhai police station, vehicles and people block roads at Theog

July 19: HC asks CBI to probe both the rape case and custodial death of the accused

July 22 – CBI registers two cases under Sections 302, 376 of IPC and Section 4 of POCSO Act relating to rape and murder of a minor girl and another case under section 302 of IPC relating to the custodial death of Suraj.

April 13, 2018 – CBI arrests woodcutter Anil Kumar alias Nilu in Kotkhai minor rape and murder case

May 29– CBI submits charge sheet in court against Nilu, the lone accused in the case

Oct 15, 2020 – Family members of Gudiya file petition in High Court seeking re-investigation into the case

April 28, 2021 - Lone Accused Nilu convicted in Gudiya rape and murder case

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