Thrissur: A Fast Track Court here on friday
sentenced a 30-year-old man to death for raping and murdering
a young woman after pushing her out of a running train,
holding that he committed the crime in a "diabolic manner"
deserving no leniency.
Pronouncing the judgement in a packed court, Judge K N
Raveendra Babu observed the 23-year-old victim was raped in a
brutal and cruel manner and the accused Govindachamy deserved
the highest punishment.
The judge had on October 31 held the man hailing from
Virddhachalam in Tamil Nadu guilty of offences under IPC 302
(murder), 376)(rape), 394 (robbery) and other counts.
Though security was tightened in the court premises in
view of public interest in the case, the van in which the
convict was taken out after the proceedings was stoned by the
crowd a couple of times. Govindachamy was taken to the Central
Prison in Kannur.
The murder of Soumya in February this year near here had
sparked widespread public outcry over the safety of women
travelling in trains.
According to the prosecution, Govindachamy had assaulted
and pushed the victim travelling in a deserted ladies`
compartment of the Kochi-Shornur passenger train on February 1
Govindachamy, a vagrant, had assaulted her after the
train left the Vallathol Railway station, a few minutes before
it was to reach her destination.
After she fell on the track side, he pursued her and
dragged her to a dark isolated spot and raped before hitting
her head with a stone.
Though Soumya was taken to a hospital by passersby, she
died on February 6 after battling for life.
The victim, an employee of a shopping mall in Kochi, was
on her way home at Manjakkad near Shornur and the tragedy
occurred a day before her betrothal.
The trial in the case threw up some surprise as some
Mumabi-based lawyers came to defend the accused, who was a
vagrant allegedly wanted in other cases in his home state.
There had been allegations that a mafia which thrives by
committing theft and crimes around railway stations was trying
to save Govindachamy.