A local court here on Saturday sentenced five people, including a woman, to life term till natural death for a double murder which took place 13 years ago in Joganiya Mata area of Chittorgarh, a court official said.
Nandu alias Narendra Singh, 46, Bhaya alias Satendra Singh, 51, Kishan Ganjam, 37, Shahina, 29, and Wasim, 41, were convicted for being involved in the killing of Brijraj Singh, an eyewitness in a murder, and his aide Jitendra Singh in May 2009. The Additional District and Session Court Judge also imposed fines on all five, said Additional Public Prosecutor, ADJ, Court–5, Akthar Khan Akela.
According to Akela, Brijraj Singh was a key witness in the murder of gangster Lala Bairagi, who was strafed with bullets by rival Bhanu Pratap gang in Udhyog Nagar Police Station area of Kota city in December 2008. In order to eliminate Brijraj Singh, Bhanu Pratap and his gang set a trap and roped in Shahina, then a student in one of the city’s hundreds of coaching institutes, to befriend him.
In line with the plan, Shahina took Brijraj Singh and his friend Jitendra Singh to Joganiya Mata area, where Bhanu Pratap and his gang pumped the two men with bullets firing at least 100 rounds, Akela said.
The matter was filed at Begun Police Station at the complaint of Jitendra Singh’s brother Suraj Singh, after which police booked at least nine people in the case under sections 148,149, 302, 120 B of the Indian Penal Code and Section 3/25 of Arms Act, he said.
Two of the accused – Bhanu Pratap and Rajesh Commando – died during the trial and the case against them was closed. Bittu alias Digvijay Singh did not appear before court and was declared a fugitive, while Sumer Singh, another accused, was arrested last year after being on the run for 12 years. A case against Sumer Singh is underway in the court separately, Akela said.
The two life terms for the double murder will run parallel to each other, he said.
In view of mortal threat to witnesses, the Rajasthan High Court had in 2016 transferred the case from Chittorgarh to Kota District Court.
Bhanu Pratap gang was active in Hadoti region around 2007-2008 and had later divided into two separate groups, with one group still led by Bhanu Pratap and the other by Lala Bairagi. Both got engaged in a gang war for supremacy, which resulted in the killing of Lal Bairagi.