A Sessions court on Thursday convicted all four accused in the Keenan-Rueben murder case, sentencing them to life imprisonment till death.
The four accused persons, identified as Jitesha Rana, Sunil Bodh, Satish Dulhaj and Dipak Tival were arrested on October 20, 2011. The incident had shocked the entire country, which demanded a safer environment for women.
Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam said among the 28 witnesses, five were eyewitnesses, including two women the deceased were defending. “There is evidence to show the accused were eve teasing and molesting girls when the victims tried to stop it. This is nothing but a pre-meditated murder,” said Nikam.
The group stabbed the two boys, Keenan died the same night. Reuben succumbed to his injuries on October 31, 2011.
The attack was described as brutal in the chargesheet and sexual harassment was declared as the main provocation in the case. The four accused were arrested a day after the incident on charges against murder, conspiracy and molestation.
Following a public outcry, the case was transferred to the fast track court in Sewri in March 2012.
The father of Keenan Santos, one of the two teenagers who was killed while trying to save their women friends from harassment, said on Thursday that justice was delivered after a Mumbai court sentenced to life the four people charged in the case.
Valerian Santos (57) expressed “satisfaction” over the verdict and said the two victims had been finally meted out justice.
“However, this is just the beginning… The battle is not over, they might appeal in the higher courts and we have to wait,” Santos said shortly after the verdict.
A special women’s court in Mumbai, on Thursday, sentenced to life imprisonment the four people charged with killing two men who had tried to prevent the molestation of their women friends five years ago, a legal official said.
Former Maharashtra chief minister, Prithviraj Chavan, expressed happiness that “justice has been done in the case” and sought more stringent action in such cases involving crimes against women.
The incident took place happened outside the Amboli Bar and Kitchen after Keenan, Rueben and their two women friends had stepped out after dinner.
In January 2012, the police filed a 416-page chargesheet before the Andheri metropolitan magistrate court. In October 2012, the court framed charges against the accused including murder, conspiracy and molestation.