The Ahmednagar district sessions court on Wednesday awarded death sentence to all the three convicts in the Kopardi rape and murder case. The court had on November 18, theld main acused Jitendra Babubal Shinde alias Pappu (21) and co-accused Santosh Gorakh Bhaval (29) and Nitin Bhailume (28) guilty in the case.
On November 21, arguing over the quantum of punishment, advocate Prakash Aher, who represented accused Nitin Bhailumi in the case, had sought leniency for Bhailume on the grounds that he was a student, comes from a poor and Dalit family and is the only support for his parents.
On July 13, 2016, the three convicts had brutally raped and murdered a 14-year-old girl in Kopardi village in Karjat taluka of Ahmednagar district.
Massive protests by the Maratha community had erupted across the state after the incident, demanding capital punishment for all three. It also created strong political ripples with the Opposition Congress and the NCP demanding the resignation of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on moral grounds.