Mumbai court hands life sentence to dead woman

Mumbai: The Bombay high court has handed down a sentence of life imprisonment to a dead woman found guilty of killing a six-year-old girl in 1986 as a human sacrifice, a report said Friday.

The woman, named only as Janabai, died two years ago but the court, apparently unaware of the fact, last week sentenced her to life in jail, the Asian Age said.

Janabai was found guilty of killing Suvarna Punekar as a human sacrifice to appease the Hindu goddess Mariaai Devi, in her village Maswad situated in the western Indian district of Satara. Janabai claimed the goddess had appeared in a dream and demanded a human sacrifice.

The Satara sessions court acquitted her in 1987 but the state government of Maharashtra challenged the ruling in the high court of Bombay.

The report, quoting public prosecutor D.S. Mhaispurkar, said the woman and her two aides had kidnapped the girl and battered her head with stones until it was separated from her torso.


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SIFY, India
Feb. 13, 2004
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