A special women’s court on Thursday convicted all four accused in the 2011 Keenan-Reuben murder case and sentenced them to life imprisonment till death.
Special judge Vrushali Joshi pronounced the verdict against the four accused — Jitendra Rana, Satish Dulgaj, Sunil Bhot and Deepak Tival — for murdering Keenan Santos (24) and Reuben Fernandes who fought against them to protect their female friends from harassment. The accused have been booked under section 302 of IPC (punishment for murder).
Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam said that among the 28 witnesses were five eyewitnesses including the two women that the victims Keenan and Reuben were defending.
The incident as it happened
On the night of October 20, 2011 a group of youngsters after completing their dinner came out of a restaurant in Andheri, Mumbai. Jitendra Rana who was passing through that area made some lewd comments and tried to harass one of the girls.
Keenan and Reuben came ahead and tried to protect the girl and a scuffle broke out. Jitendra then returned with a gang and they repeatedly stabbed Keenan and Reuben in full public view.
Keenan was stabbed four times and died the next day, while Reuben succumbed to his injuries on October 31. The police had arrested the four perpetrators the day after the incident. In October 2012, a fast-track court had framed charges against four accused for murder, conspiracy and molestation.
After the verdict
Keenan’s father told the reporters outside the court that he is happy with the verdict as he didn’t want death penalty for the convicts.
The Logical Indian lauds the decision of the court for sentencing life imprisonment to the convicts. Criminals of such ghastly crimes should not be spared by the hand of justice.