Parents get lifer for killing girl who married a Hindu

via http://news.in.msn.com/national/article.aspx?cp-documentid=1555596 published on July 11, 2008

Mumbai: A court here today sentenced the parents of an 18-year-old Muslim girl to life imprisonment for murdering their daughter for falling in love with a Hindu and marrying him.

Additional sessions judge O S Jaiswal held Mohammad Munna Sardar Khan (38) and his wife Shenaz Khan (35) guilty of murdering their daughter Mehnaz on July 2, 2006 and cutting her body into 11 pieces and dumping them in a gunny bag.

The gruesome act was committed by the parents after Mehnaz married a Hindu.

The court, while sentencing them to life imprisonment, observed that it is not a “rarest of the rare case” since they cut her into 11 pieces only after strangling her with a towel.

The court considering the two accused’s moral responsibility towards their five other children showed leniency and sentenced them to the minimum punishment of life.

Defence Advocate Wahab Khan argued before the court that “they committed the murder only to set an example for their two other daughters so that they also do not follow their sister.”

On July 2, 2006 Khan and his wife learnt that Mehnaz had eloped with a Hindu Maharashtrian man named Vidyanand Jadhav to Panvel and had got married to him there.

The Khans went to Panvel and pleaded with Mehnaz to return home and assured her that once she comes home they would accept her marriage to Jadhav. However, after she returned home late in the evening, Khan strangled Mehnaz to death, while her mother sat on her to prevent her from escaping.

Khan then carried Mehnaz’s body to their bathroom of their south Mumbai home and cut it into 11 pieces. “Khan also peeled off the victim’s skin from the face and cut off her nose so that no one could identify the body,” investigating officer Hinduram Patil said.

They then dumped the pieces into a gunny bag and threw it off the Byculla bridge. The body was recovered after a few days following residents’ complaint of stench in the area.

Other than the substantial amount of material evidence gathered, the prosecution’s case mainly lies on the crucial victim “last-seen-with” theory, which is vital in a criminal trial to connect the accused to the crime in the absence of an eyewitness.

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