Andhra youth gets life for killing girl’s parents (Lead)

January 31st, 2011 - 6:42 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, Jan 31 (IANS) A youth was Monday sentenced to life imprisonment by a court in Andhra Pradesh for murdering a couple and injuring their daughter because she had spurned his advances more than a year back.The court in Rajahmundry in East Godavari district sentenced M. Rajesh after holding him guilty of murdering the couple Sep 17, 2009.

Rajesh stabbed to death N. Srinu, an autorickshaw driver, and his wife N. Satyavathi as they tried to save their 17-year-old daughter Anusha from his attack.

Reacting to the verdict, Anusha said the killer should have been given death penalty so that it deters others from harassing girls.

“It is a small punishment for him, but I am satisfied because it is a court judgment. At least some justice has been done,” Anusha told reporters.

“A death sentence would have sent a strong message to other maniacs like him to frighten them away from such crimes,” the girl said.

Public prosecutor P. Purshottam also made a similar argument before the court while seeking death penalty for the accused. The magistrate, however, disagreed with the argument.

Rajesh (20), an employee of a courier company, had barged into Anusha’s house in Rajahmundry at night Sep 17, 2009, whipped out a knife and slashed her throat. Hearing her screams, Anusha’s parents rushed to protect her, but they were repeatedly stabbed by Rajesh.

The neighbours caught the youth, beat him up and handed him over to the police.

Anusha, a Class 12 student, was seriously injured and in her statement before a magistrate she demanded that the accused be hanged in public.

Rajesh, who claimed that he was in love with Anusha, was arrested in May 2009 for harassing her. He was released on bail, but continued to stalk her.

The stabbings shocked the state and evoked strong public outrage. Women and students organisations held demonstrations across Andhra Pradesh, demanding stringent punishment to the youth.

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