A fast-track court in Nalgonda district of Telangana on Thursday sentenced to death a 29-year man for rape and murder of three minor girls.
After 42-day continuous hearing, the court held Marri Srinivas Reddy guilty of kidnapping and killing the girls, aged 11, 17 and 14 years. He had committed the first crime in 2015 and the two other crimes in 2019. He dumped the victims' bodies in two farm wells in Hajipur village.
He was found guilty of kidnapping, rape, murder and destroying evidence.
Observing that it fell in the category of the rarest of rare cases, First Additional and District Sessions Judge S.V.V Nath Reddy ruled that the convict be hanged till death. The sentence has to be confirmed by the Telangana High Court.
Reddy was arrested in April 2019 for sexual assault and murder of a 14-year girl. The investigation revealed that he had earlier committed two similar crimes and dumped the victim's bodies in two dried-up wells.
Rachakonda Police Commissioner Mahesh Bhagwat said the charge-sheets in the three cases were filed in three months. The court pronounced the order after examining 101 witnesses.
"The judgment gives a great relief to the society in general and family members of the victims in particular," he said.
According to police, a 11-year-old was the first victim of Reddy. On April 22, 2015, the girl on way to her village Mysireddypally from her maternal aunt's house in Hajipur. The accused followed her and after the sexual assault threw the body into the well.
In the second case on March 7, 2019, he kidnapped a 17-year girl after offering her lift on his bike. After rape and murder, threw the body into another well.
On April 25, 2019, the accused used same modus operandi and gave lift to a 14-year girl. He strangulated her to death after sexual assault and buried the body in the same well.
While investigating the missing complaint, the police detained him on suspicion. The probe unearthed the shocking crimes.
According to the police, Reddy was also involved in rape and murder of a woman in Kurnool town of Andhra Pradesh in 2016.
It's second time in a week that a fast-track court in Telangana has awarded death sentence in the rape and murder case.
An Adilabad district court on January 30 had sentenced to death all three convicts of the gang-rape and murder of a woman. This judgment had come 66 days of the crime in a village in Komaram Bheem Asifabad district.