Kerala man gets life term for killing woman who resisted rape attempt

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By Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Additional District and Sessions Court on Monday handed over life imprisonment to a 31-year-old man convicted for murdering a homemaker who resisted his rape attempt. Judge K N Ajith Kumar sentenced Manikandan, a native of Kadakkavoor, for life and imposed a fine of Rs five lakh for murdering the woman, who was a widow, in 2016.

Public Prosecutor M Salahudeen relied on circumstantial and scientific evidence to obtain conviction as there were no eye-witnesses to the incident. During the trial, the prosecution produced 32 witnesses, 49 documents and 21 piece of material evidence to prove Manikandan’s guilt.

The prosecution argument was that Manikandan fatally stabbed the woman on her chest and stomach after she resisted his rape attempt. Manikandan, who lived in the neighbourhood, had gone to the house at 9 pm on the pretext of drinking water. He then tried to force himself on the woman. She resisted and in the melee, he stabbed her with a knife he was carrying and fled.

Seriously wounded, the victim ran to her neighbour’s house. Though the residents rushed her to the Chirayinkeezhu taluk hospital, she could not be saved. Manikandan was taken into custody on the third day of the murder. The police then recovered the dress he was wearing at the time of the crime and a forensic examination found that the blood on it belonged to the victim. G B Mukesh, then Kadakkavoor inspector, investigated the crime. Manikandan is also accused of murdering a man three days before the Kadakkavoor incident and the trial of the case is on.

In the Kadakkavoor case trial, the prosecution had urged the court not to release Manikandan on bail as he could destroy evidence. The court accepted the plea. Manikandan has been in judicial custody since December 2016.

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