A 24-year-old man was on Wednesday sentenced to death by a court in Telangana in the sensational case of murder of nine people, including six members of a family, in Warangal in May.
Warangal First Additional District and Sessions Judge K Jayakumar awarded capital punishment to Sanjay Kumar Yadav after holding him guilty under relevant section of the Indian Penal Code for murder and other relevant provisions.
According to the police, Sanjay Kumar Yadav, a native of Bihar, killed nine people on May 20 by mixing sleeping pills in their food and then dumped them in a well to cover up the murder of a woman with whom he was having a live-in relationship.
The judgement was delivered within five months and six days of the offence and as many as 67 prosecution witnesses were examined during the trial that was held physically according to the lockdown guidelines in view of coronavirus pandemic, public prosecutor M Satyanarayana Goud said.
The chargesheet in the case was filed within a month of the killings and the trial was conducted in the presence of just five people -- the Judge, the Public Prosecutor, defence counsel, bench clerk and the accused on most days, besides the witnesses as and when their presence was required, he said.
Pronouncing the verdict, the judge observed that the convict committed a heinous crime and termed the case as rarest of the rare and hence, imposed the capital punishment, Mr Goud said.
Assistant Commissioner of Police Shyam Sunder told news agency PTI, "Within one month, the chargesheet was filed with sufficient material and documentary evidence and extensive use of technology".
The recovery of the nine bodies from the well on the premises of a gunny bag manufacturing unit in Warangal had sent shock waves across the town.
The police cracked the case and arrested Sanjay Yadav on May 25.
Yadav, who had been living in Warangal for the last six years, had mixed sleeping pills in the food of the nine people, and after they fell unconscious, dragged each of them and threw them into the well, the police had said.
The bodies of the four people -- 48-year-old Maqsood from West Bengal, who had migrated to Warangal over 20 years ago, his wife, daughter and three-year old grandson -- were retrieved from the well on May 21.
A day later, the bodies of Maqsood's two sons, a friend and two other men, employed in the unit, were fished out of the well.
Investigations and CCTV footage led the police to Sanjay Yadav who told them that he murdered them as Maqsood's wife had threatened to complain to the police about her missing niece, whom he had killed on March 6 this year.