Two sisters from Kolhapur, who were awarded death sentence in 2001 for kidnapping and murder, are likely to become the first women ever in India to be hanged after President Pranab Mukherjee rejected their mercy pleas.
After rejection of Renuka Kiran Shinde and her sister Seema Mohan Gavit’s mercy pleas, the time period before the hanging – where all the concerned people are informed by the state home department – ends on Saturday.
The judge during the sentencing had said that the the women had kidnapped innocent children who could not offer any resistance, had used them for the purpose of begging, and then killed them brutally when the children outlived their utility, and these brutalities were taken into consideration while awarding the sentences.
In 2001, when the sisters were sentenced to death for kidnapping 13 children and killing nine of them, the judge had observed that the both the sisters enjoyed killing the children and described the murders as ‘the most heinous’.
All the victims were between the age one and five years.
Though there was not a single eye-witness to the crimes, the court relied on the deposition of the approver Kiran Shinde, Renuka’s husband, who the court had acquitted. Also, during the hearing, the court examined 156 witnesses and all deposed against the accused.
Both the sisters are currently lodged at the Yerwada jail in Pune.