Bangalore: The cab driver who collected BPO employee Pratibha Murthy for work on a December night years ago has been found guilty of raping and murdering her.
The judge of a fast-track court in Bangalore who has been hearing the case said he will announce the driver's sentence on Friday.
Her distraught mother, Gowramma, pleaded for Pratibha's rapist and murderer to get the maximum punishment.
"Life is so cheap... how would he know my pain? I lost my only daughter, my family is smashed... let him come see my house... how I am leading life," Gowramma said. (Watch)
Tears just don't stop falling from Gowramma's eyes. She tells us it is five years since she slept a night or ate a meal without remembering her beloved daughter who left her marital home on the night of December 13, 2005, supposedly for office.
Little did she know that Shivakumar, the substitute cab driver who came to pick Pratibha up for night shift, had different and violent plans. He took her to a desolate place on the city outskirts, raped her and murdered her before dumping her body in the bushes.
Pratibha was 28, her death shocked BPO offices across the country into reviewing security for their women staffers.
The court on Wednesday convicted Shivkumar of kidnapping, rape and murder. The sentence is likely to be passed this Friday.
"It was a tough case to crack, definitely. We are waiting for the quantum of judgment, we want it to be exemplary and it should act as deterrent in the future," said Joint Commissioner of Police, Alok Kumar.
"I want the death sentence in this crime... if he leaves from the jail, he is going to do the same... he spoils so many girls... again he is doing crime," said Gowramma.
A widowed mother for whom every moment of wait for justice all these five years has been living death, a final two-day wait hopefully to see if the accused Shivakumar gets a life sentence or death for raping and murdering her only daughter Pratibha Srikantha Murthy.