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Four villagers sentenced to life for burning women to death in Thane

Thane:  Four villagers from Wada taluka's Usar village, who were found guilty of burning a married village woman to death have been sentenced to life imprisonment by Thane Additional Sessions Judge S J Kale.

The judge held the four guilty under Section 302 read with Section 34 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Both the accused and the victim are labourers from the Katkari community.

The sentenced include Gurunath Ragho Waghe (45), Mahendra Ashok Jadhav (25), Rajesh Pandit Waghe (25) and Subash Javu Jadhav (38), all residents of Usar village.

In his submission before court, additional public prosecutor Sanjay Londhe said that the victim Ranjana Bharat Bhoye (22) a housewife and mother of a two-year-old boy, had gone with other village women to the nearby river to collect sand, on December 14, 2010.

During the course of work, she made comments regarding sarees of the same colour being worn by the women, which did not go well with one of the women, who happened to be the sister of one of those sentenced.

She reported the matter to her brother, who reached Ranjana's house and picked up a quarrel with her.

On December 16, 2010, the four accused reached Ranjana's residence when she was alone, poured kerosene on her, set her on fire and fled the scene.

The prosecution told the court that after the incident she was taken to hospital and the police registered a case of attempt to murder under Section 307 of the IPC. After Ranjana died, the police converted the offence into that of murder, under Section 302.

Advocate Ramakant Patil who appeared for the accused persons requested for a lenient sentence, which was rejected by the court. The court relied on the victim's dying declaration and other evidence given by neighbours to convict the accused.

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