Jisha murder case: Ernakulam Sessions court on Thursday awarded death sentence to 23-year-old Ameerul Islam, the lone accused found guilty in Jisha rape and murder case. Jisha, a 30 year old woman who hailed from a poor family, was raped and brutally assaulted using sharp-edged weapons before being murdered at her house on April 28, 2016. Jisha’s body was found by her mother. It was observed that her body was mutilated and her body parts, including the genitals, bore stab wounds. A massive outrage erupted among Kerala’s citizens who took to streets in several places. Parallels were drawn with the ‘Damini rape and murder case’ that took place on December 16, 2012 in Delhi. The incident took place in the back drop of the state assembly polls campaign last year. It came in sharp focus as political parties attacked the then Congress-led UDF regime for tardy progress in the probe and failure to nab culprit.
After assuming power, the LDF government changed the investigation team and entrusted the probe to ADGP B Sandhya in its first cabinet meeting itself. In a high-level probe, the police questioned over 1,500 people and took fingerprints of over 5,000. It was reported that these people were also examined by the SIT personnel who went through over 20 lakh telephonic conversations before reaching Islam. The blood stained footwear found from a canal near the victim’s house became one of the key evidence in identifying the culprit.
The culprit, Ameerul Islam was arrested a month-and-a-half later. The investigating team filed a 1,500-page chargesheet on September 17, 2016 naming Islam as lone accused. The trial began on April 4, 2017 and the hearing stretched through 85 days. The prosecution produced 195 witnesses, 290 pieces of documentary evidence and 36 pieces of material evidence. On Tuesday, the court had found Islam guilty under Sections 376 (rape), 302 (murder), 449 (trespassing into house) and 342 (wrongful confinement) of the IPC.
Jisha’s family members have welcomed the verdict. Her sister, Deepa, said, “I will not get my sister back but I am happy with the court’s verdict. We will be at peace only when he (Ameerul) is hanged. A lot of people have worked very hard to get justice for Jisha. I want to thank all of them.” DGP B Sandhya, the lead investigating officer told reporters, “We have worked very hard to collect all the evidence. It’s our professional dharma to accept whatever the court rules. We are happy with the judgment.”